1. Why are you running for township council? Why now?
Patricia Hansen is running for a seat on the Evesham Township Council because she is inspired by public service, concerned about the future of our neighborhoods, and wants to ensure proper investment in our community’s future.
Patricia is running this year because she’s tired of waiting for other people to step up and do what’s needed for our community. Patricia has firsthand experience advocating for solving safety and traffic problems in town only to see them caught up in red tape or dismissed repeatedly. Patricia believes that it shouldn’t take years of asking for help and proper safety measures before anything actually happens.
2. What other boards or organizations have you been part of and how have these experiences prepared you to be a council member?
Patricia Hansen recently retired after 41 years at Amtrak, 20 of those as a Human Resources Assignment Specialist. In that role she was responsible for coordination and communication between management and employees, and job placements for 6,000-plus union employees. Patricia was elected five times to serve as president of the Transportation Communications Union (now an affiliate of the AFL-CIO) for the Philadelphia region. As President, Patricia worked to clean up the organization and end management neglect. Patricia was also part of a team that protected employees from unfair termination.
Patricia has advocated for equal rights her entire life, both personally and with organizations such as Human Rights Campaign. At Amtrak, Patricia was a strong advocate for equal protections and benefits for same-sex couples, well before the US Supreme Court ruling enshrining those rights across the nation.
Since retiring, Patricia has been a volunteer for seniors attending weekly choir recitals in Cherry Hill and creating and donating art at the Center for the Arts of Southern New Jersey. Patricia takes part in trail cleanup at the Black Run Preserve, and attends as many Township Council, civic and community meetings that she can.
Patricia’s involvement as a volunteer, advocate, and union leader has shown her that nobody can wait for change to happen – they need to make it happen. Patricia leads by example by speaking up and getting involved personally and on behalf of others who can’t do it for themselves. As a Council member, Patricia won’t change anything – she will still be a strong advocate for people who can’t help themselves or aren’t being listened to.
3. What do you think are the top issues facing Evesham and how would you address them?
Patricia Hansen and her running mate for Township Council, Heather Cooper, and Jaclyn Veasy for Mayor, developed a platform that focus on several issues. At the top of the list is keeping our community and children safe. That’s the most essential job of any public servant. By building a stronger relationship with and developing a comprehensive safety plan with the school district and other community organizations in town, Patricia, Heather, and Jackie will tackle concerns about gun violence in schools, the opioid crisis, and other ills that could endanger residents.
Another important issue is economic development. Patricia, Heather, and Jackie know that public officials should not stand in the way of progress. However, as elected officials they can stand up for the residents and neighborhoods that have concerns about new developments. Progress should be paired with respect for neighborhood concerns as well as the history and identity of our town, along with sustainability and creating a strong, resilient economy that can withstand economic downturns.
Patricia is also very concerned that seniors, children, and working families don’t have enough of a voice or opportunities in Evesham. Patricia wants to use her role as a public servant to make sure that residents have what they need and nobody is being left out.
4. Describe a time when you had a conflict or a conflicting view or opinion with someone you work with. How did you handle it? What was the result?
During Patricia Hansen’s time at Amtrak as a Human Resources Assignment Specialist, Patricia also served as president of her local Transportation Communications Union. Patricia was a mediator between management and union employees, and remembers an employee who came to her because the employee didn’t feel as though they were being treated fairly, felt singled out, and couldn’t get past their anger.
Patricia calmly listened and explained the contract and rule, as well as how the rule was applied universally to maintain continuity across the corporation. Patricia, as a leader in her organization, took responsibility for the employee’s misunderstanding and understood that complicated contracts could be a challenge for the thousands of employees she oversaw. Patricia maintained her position out of responsibility to the employer and employee, who came around to understand the decision thanks to Patricia’s patience and understanding.
5. How are you funding your campaign?
Patricia Hansen and her running mate for Township Council, Heather Cooper, and Mayoral candidate Jaclyn Veasy, are raising funds from individual donors and, thanks to their position of creating more local jobs from all of the development occurring, have received local union support.
6. How can voters learn more about you and your campaign?
Voters can learn more about Heather Cooper, Patricia Hansen, and Jaclyn Veasy on their website, vch4evesham.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Residents can also host the candidates for a house party with neighbors and friends, or join them for door-knocking and other volunteer opportunities.