Carla Stilson
for
College Township Council

An educator, property manager, and mom who as councilwoman will foster informed, progressive discourse toward decisons that will make College Township an even better place to live.

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Carla gets a push in Spring Creek Park

A crash course
in my current station in life

I’m a work-at-home-mom of two hilarious children and the partner of one particularly patient husband. I very recently finished a four-year stint as an independent childbirth educator and doula: a rewarding small business I ran out of my home. I also manage a few properties around town and work at my children’s preschool. My family and I have lived in College Township for more than six years (12 years total in the Centre Region). We've settled in Houserville for what we intend to be a very long time.

Carla working for DiamondBack Truck Covers

Why I’m a qualified candidate
for Township Council

My qualifications are the experiences of my life that have shaped my outlook and given me a quality I believe every councilperson should embody: perspective.

  • I have a PSU Education degree.  → I have worked with students and parents in an urban, racially tense environment where I saw how the systems sometimes fail the people they intend to help. I learned how far a few extra hours could go to help a difficult situation become a little bit easier. 
  • I've worked for a local non-profit  → wrap-around program wherein I helped the parents, schools, and communities work productively with children with behavioral disorders (i.e. autism spectrum, chronic depression, speech delays). I learned to see the world from the perspective of those children and their families. I helped others to do the same with the ultimate goal of giving these kids the proper coping mechanisms and assistance to let them grow and interact with their environments safely. 
  • I've worked for a local start-up  → manufacturing company wearing many hats and putting in long hours, but not nearly as many hats or as long hours as the two men who owned the company. I learned about business and risk and thin margins, and how policy can hurt and help the cause. 
  • I've been a mom in our community  → who relishes our wonderfully kept and plentiful parks, the natural areas, the terrific library, the safe neighborhoods, and the beautiful local businesses we are blessed to have so close to our homes. I have also cursed developers for overlooking a chance to connect the residential areas with the commercial zones via bike paths, steps, or sidewalks; I’ve spited policy for demanding so much commercial lighting at night when I want to see the stars; I’ve cried as my neighbors have moved their not-so-mobile homes far, far away because the laws to protect them didn’t come soon enough. 
  • I've worked as a property manager  → where I have been glad to make a capital trade of housing for money and have met a many pleasant transients in the process. I have also experienced the guilt of learning that tenants whose applications I personally reviewed have received numerous noise violations in a once quiet neighborhood—and knew there was nothing I as a property manager could do about it. 
  • I've worked as a childbirth educator → and labor assistant where I have been allowed the privilege of getting to know many different people in different walks of life all with one common experience. I have helped them manage their fears, taught them coping strategies, and most importantly taught them how to respectfully and knowledgably go for the birth of their choice. I have taught them to do this while keeping in mind the perspective of the excellent hardworking professionals whom they have chosen to help them. 

I feel these very diverse and powerful experiences have afforded me ample practice at seeing and balancing many different perspectives. This is what I plan to bring to College Township Council. I don’t believe that my candidacy is about creating a platform issue, or explaining my agenda. I will make a great councilwoman not because my perspective is perfect, because I have the drive to hear, the ability to listen, and the experience to know that the best answers come from the group, the whole, our community.

My policy-related inclinations

Even though I see my unprejudiced, listening ear as the chief asset I would bring to Council, you as the voters should definitely know where my personal sympathies tend to lie:
Carla with her husband and son at Spring Creek Park

I love College Township’s laid-back, rural-suburban personality. I am uncomfortable with the idea of transitioning East College Avenue into a North-Atherton-like thoroughfare (although North Atherton Street does do sidewalks really well).

I love sidewalks, bike paths, and alternative modes of transportation.

I have solar panels on my roof. I am interested in renewable energy.

Carla's son on a jungle gym at Penn Hills Park

I am interested in creative solutions to the workforce housing dilemma and would choose to keep Hilltop zoned MHP unless compelled otherwise by my constituents.

I am very sympathetic toward our local business owners.

Below is a video (Flash only) featuring CDT reporter Jessica Vanderkolk interviewing five candidates for College Township Council on CNET. If you’d like, you can skip to the 56:00 mark to hear just me.

Carla plays with her son and a cell phone while canoeing

I would like to invite my generation and those after me into civic conversation by encouraging College Township to create a social media presence by making their website more navigable, creating an active Facebook page, and considering an active Twitter account.

I am not currently knowledgeable on the issue of budgetary concerns, but I am not a risk-taker or a big spender, and I do not operate on debt.