Linda O’Dell will fight for what she believes in

Meet Linda O'Dell

Born into a conservative family, Linda credits nightly discussions around the dinner table with instilling some of her first values about fairness and fighting for what you believe in.

“My parents didn’t believe girls should participate in sports, but I pushed back, and I got my chances at running football plays in the yard or covering first base. At dinner, we’d talk about the importance of playing by the rules, because that’s how you keep everyone safe and the game fair.”

Linda was the only woman in her top-rated college finance program, and the dismissiveness and taunts she received only increased her determination to forge her own path as a research analyst and trader.

“It prepared me for Wall Street. There weren’t many women there either, but I held my own. By the time I came into work at 7 am, I had read the day’s New York Times and Wall Street Journal cover-to-cover. In our world, anything that was going on could affect prices and stocks.”

During nearly a decade in finance, Linda saw firsthand how the interests of Wall Street and Main Street America had diverged.

“Some traders ignored the rules of the SEC when it came to public and inside information. Trades would occur that affected workers’ livelihoods, and we would benefit no matter what happened to those jobs. That may be a way to make money, but it’s no way to live.”

Linda chose to leave Wall Street behind to focus on raising her family and using her business skills to work with non-profits.

"Those were wonderful years. Having those years when my children were young to be able to play games, bandage scraps, and encourage their creativity and respect for others was a privilege that I don't take for granted. I will do whatever I can to make sure that parents get the same opportunities. It’s hard work, but it’s worthwhile.”

With Linda’s children in public schools, she rolled up her sleeves to get involved.

“They needed people to augment programs, so I started filling in, thinking about the parents who weren’t able to participate and how I would hope someone would do it for me if I couldn’t. So, I taught a class on business to first-graders… Later, teams who I mentored went to ‘Odyssey of the Mind’ and ‘Destination Imagination' nationals!”

As time went by, Linda found other ways to give back, serving as president of her local “Make-A-Wish foundation,” and working in other charities and non-profits, before making the leap to politics.

“We’re not doing enough to prepare for our future generations. We’re not supposed to be doing things just for ourselves. It’s right there in the Preamble to the Constitution: for ourselves and our posterity. I believe that I can make a difference. My story isn’t anything special, but it’s becoming way too rare. I received an education without signing up for a lifetime of debt. I was able to work and to raise my children without falling into the ‘two-income trap.’ And my children went to public schools where they received well-rounded educations. That’s what I want for your family. I’m running for Congress to make sure you have the same opportunities I did. And I won’t give up. I never have.”

Linda and her husband, Tom, live in Petoskey. Linda attends Christ Episcopal Church in Charlevoix, where Tom is Rector.

With your support, Democrats will take back the First, and Linda O’Dell will become the first Congresswoman ever to represent this district.

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Linda O'Dell for Congress
  • 201 W. Mitchell Street, #130
    Petoskey, MI 49770, US
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