Name: Marla J. Haas
Hometown: Williamsport, PA
Sponsor Organization: Unite America (formerly the Centrist Project)
Circle Start Date: October 2017
What do you do when you’re not running a Ben Franklin Circle?
I am a full-time paralegal and the head of a local chapter of Unite America (formerly the Centrist Project), an organization that is working to get Independent representatives elected to governorships and legislature positions throughout the United States. I am also the Press Secretary for an Independent candidate for my district’s House of Representatives seat.
What attracted you to the Circles?
I loved the idea of bringing members of my community together. I like hearing other people’s stories about how they approach issues such as frugality or silence. I also like sharing my tactics for approaching things such as order and tranquility.
Tell us a little about the composition of your group. How did you find members (or how did they find you)?
We have had anywhere from three to eight members at our meetings. We have posted event pages on Facebook and Meetup, as well as local event forums, to promote the meetings. Word of mouth has also been successful in garnering interest.
How has hosting a Ben Franklin Circle impacted you?
My mind has been opened to a lot of different viewpoints on various subjects. I am now more thoughtful about how I approach my daily life. I find that I think about the suggestions that Circle members have made in order to help me with my struggles.
Which virtue means the most to you personally and why?
Although we have not yet had Circles on every virtue, I think the virtue that means the most to me is justice. I am a personal injury paralegal. As such, I work every day to ensure that my firm’s clients get justice for whatever wrong they have endured. I believe wholeheartedly in liberty and justice for all. Even in my political side-ventures, I participate because I believe the American people deserve Independent representatives who will put the good of the country before their personal interests and the good of their parties. To me, that is a form of justice.
What is the last commitment you made to yourself? How’s it going?
The last commitment I made to myself was to make a permanent change to my diet. I have been doing it for four months now, and have had no trouble sticking to it. Ben Franklin advocated for resolving to perform what you ought. I’m happy to report that I am performing what I resolved without fail!