On September 10, 2021 at Lincoln South Rotary Club, our speaker was Lincoln City Council Member Sändra Washington.
Sändra's message was about community. 
She pointed out that we are members of many communities - not only based on where we live. We are members of our work community, our church community, our social community and the many boards and committees that we are a part of.
She feels like with the resurgence of COVID with the Delta variant, it is like Groundhog Day. Just when we were getting comfortable that we were pulling through the pandemic - getting vaccinated, meeting more in person - then it is back. She shared her experience when she was in that comfortable spot - she got vaccinated, got a COVID test (negative) packed her masks, and traveled to see her mom for the first time in months. There were tears and hugs and then a lot of staring - in person. It was like it should be.
Sändra encouraged us to continue to strengthen our community bonds regardless of our politics, where we live, or any other demographics. 
We are each responsible for a healthy community - not just physical health but also economic health. We should not look at things that need to be done as something someone else should do. She used our Trail Clean Up as an example of supporting a healthy community. She believes that we owe it to each other to take care of each other. It is not that we pick up someone's load, but just support each other.
Sändra pointed out the importance of being cognizant of our behavior, our actions and what we say affects the lives of others. 
And, then she pointed to Rotary's 4-Way Test. By living our lives as pointed out in the 4-Way Test we are supporting strong, healthy communities. 
She is proud to be involved with, not only the City Council, but the New Americans Task Force (https://app.lincoln.ne.gov/city/natf/history.htm) in Lincoln. They meet quarterly to review how welcoming we are to all coming to Lincoln. We have services available to everyone and they meet with various organizations who are in position to help those settling in Lincoln. 
Sändra stated that she enjoys the dialogue, compromise and negotiation - the process of working together and finding solutions that will serve the greatest number of individuals.


Sändra Washington was unanimously appointed by the council to fill the vacated at-large seat due to the election of Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird in 2019. She ran for the seat and was elected in 2021.

Washington, originally from Columbus, Ohio, has lived in Lincoln since 1990. Washington worked with the National Park Service for 25 years, retiring in 2014 as the Association Regional Director for Cultural Resources, Planning, Construction, Communications, Legislation and Congressional Affairs. Washington currently sits on the board of the Nebraska Trails Foundation and the National Parks Conservation Association. Washington attended the Ohio State University for undergraduate and graduate school, and is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts USA. Washington and her spouse, Deb Cirksena, have one daughter; they enjoy travel and sports.