Just who is this guy? What makes him think he can be a Member of Congress?
Those are fair questions. After all, I’m not just running against somebody, I’m running FOR Congress.
So who is Tim Krepp?
Let’s start with that quintessential Washington question, “...and what do you do?”
What DO I do?
Well, I’m a tour guide. This may be one of the world’s greatest professions and I enjoy it immensely. People pay me to talk about history and I show them around Washington, D.C. They also pay me to show them around New York and Philadelphia and Boston and so on, but mostly I work here. I pride myself on the ability to pique people’s interest in the Nation’s Capital, which also happens to be my home.
It’s a profession that’s allowed me to indulge my love of history; to research and learn so much more about our city; and to truly become an expert on the many facets of this country’s story. As much as I learn about DC through my job, I also learn about America. The whole country comes here, and I get to see our town through their eyes. It’s exciting, fascinating, and yes, at times, disturbing. I find out what they think about us --both the good and the bad-- and hopefully send them home with a fresh perspective.
And before that?
Of course, I wasn’t always a tour guide. In the distant past, I was born in New York, and my family moved to North Carolina when I was young. I came to Washington over two decades ago as a young college student, to attend George Washington University. I fell in love with the city and its layers of history; with the energy of a dense, urban environment; and with the sense that there was more to “Washington” than marble buildings and politicians.
While at GW, I earned a Navy scholarship and upon graduation, I was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy. I was honored to be selected, and it took quite a bit of persistence, determination and hard work to make it through the program, but I made it. Shortly after graduation, I found myself on a minesweeper in the Pacific, home ported in Japan for the next few years.
My time with the Navy was both terrifying and exhilarating, with not a small amount of grinding tedium in the middle. I found myself challenged as a leader, challenged as an operator, and even just challenged to push myself beyond the point of exhaustion. I often excelled, usually by learning from failing until I succeeded, but mostly, I just did what millions of other service members have done and are doing right now: I completed difficult and dangerous tasks in rather extreme environments, far away from home.
I ended up serving over six years, deploying to Korea, Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean and the Balkans. By this time I was a Lieutenant, and the Navy brought me back to DC for my last assignment with the Office of Naval Intelligence. During this period, I met my wife, Denise. We married in 2001 and settled on the east end of Capitol Hill. We bought our first, and I suspect our last, house in 2003 and are busy raising two daughters here. After living a nomadic life for so many years, it was a pleasure to settle somewhere and become vested in a community. Our daughters attend a local public school and we’ve enjoyed the challenges and the tremendous opportunities of raising children in DC.
And then what?
In my spare time, between raising children and my day job, I took up writing. I’ve contributed to numerous local blogs and papers, even starting my own blog, DC Like a Local, to share with our visitors my lessons learned as a tour guide. I’ve explored serious issues, from crime, to schools, even to how we could better handle our visitors and their buses. I had fun with more whimsical issues, such as problems in my alley and the closure of one of my favorite bars. And I’ve continued to dig into our shared past, authoring two books about the haunted history of our city.
But most of all, I learned the value of engagement. Getting involved, on whatever level, is what makes us a city and not a cluster of people. Our connections, through our schools, our churches, and, yes, online, is where the real life of the city happens. I’ve written articles, I’ve baked cookies for yard sales, donated tours, planted trees, and, most difficult of all, gone to meetings. I’m proud of what I’ve done to help my children’s school, what I’ve done to help my neighborhood, my city, and my country. But it’s not enough.
Like most of us, I quietly chafed at our unequal status in the American republic. A small group of dedicated activists have led the charge on fixing this, but I wasn’t one. I admired what they did, but from afar. It seemed too futile, too impossible. I’d rather spend my energy on local issues, things I could see tangible results from.
But as I led groups to the Capitol, brought them to meet their Senators and Representatives, I noticed that the rest of America had something we did not. Not just voting rights, but engaged leaders that came to Washington to solve their issues. Teachers, parents, and even students would rarely question them on subjects of national weight, but rather issues in their community, from an Interstate overpass to community college funding. Across parties and regions, I’ve yet to see one stumble on a local issue. I don’t think we have that.
I became convinced we need a full service Member of Congress.
One to revitalize our shared goal of Statehood, but also to engage on issues of importance where Federal and District interests meet. One not beholden to national interests, but with a local and vocal perspective to demand that Congress look beyond First Street at the city they meet in. And yes, one to challenge our fellow residents to get involved with Statehood, not to see it not as a lost cause but as a rewarding journey that encompasses the rising self-confidence I feel we share as Washingtonians. We need to redefine what we want from our Delegate, and I’m going to do that. Let’s try something different, DC!