Deborah Armintor: When passion turns into adrenaline
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark and raised in Providence, Rhode Island but a Texan at heart, Deb Armintor made history for receiving more than 27,500 votes in her reelection bid for Denton City Council Place 5. Not only was Deb reelected to city council, but she is also a current English professor at the University of North Texas (UNT).
Growing up, Deb experienced a wide range of diversity and richness of life – from growing up Jewish to being surrounded by colleagues with degrees from around the world and individuals from different religions, ethnicities, and cultures. This experienced greatly shaped her perspective in life – to not expect people to think and act like her.
Deb’s political experience started when she was a kid because her parents constantly talked about politics and never censored themselves in front of their children. She recalled that her first political experience (and the most powerful moment) happened in middle school when her mom took her to a “take back the night” event – a movement where a lot of women walked through the streets at night to empower each other because many women experience unfortunate things like being catcalled.
Eventually, Deb became a professor at UNT because this was her dream. However, it was not until Texas legislators passed the House Bill 40 – a fracking ban in the city of Denton – that Deb became a full-blown activist while being a full-time professor. She was passionate about the issue because she believed it was both financially and socially negative for Denton. She waited for someone who opposed the bill to run against the incumbent, who supported the bill, but no one did. Folks began encouraging her to run. She recalled telling the people around her, “over my dead body” to prove that she wasn’t going to run but it was her husband telling her, “you’ve already spent so much of your time doing this anyway so you may as well continue doing this” that pushed her to run.
From her experience, she advises that young women should not face difficulty stepping out of their comfort zones if they are passionate about something and the passion gives them an adrenaline rush, they will make change happen. She also noted the importance of researching the issue, talking to people who may have been fighting for the cause, and following your heart. She believes this will give young women the bravery that they need to do what they have to do.