FAQs, Volume 2

Based on comments to the page and things I get asked on the campaign trail, here are a few more answers to common questions:

  1. WHAT WILL YOU DO AS A COUNCIL MEMBER TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES YOU TALK ABOUT?
    Here’s the thing about legislative bodies like City Council: no one person can win a seat and then begin forcing their own agenda through. Decisions are made collaboratively, and so it is much more important to vote for candidates who give priority to the issues that matter to the community and who have the ability to work collaboratively with other legislators. So that’s what I intend to do: be a voice for the issues and interests I’ve been speaking about, and work with other council members to make the most progress on those issues.
    As far as specific bills or programs, I don’t pretend to have perfect answers. It sounds nice for candidates to talk about the legislation they think will best solve whatever problems they’re most concerned about, but I’m not going to pretend that I have perfect answers. I’m not going to pretend that I am aware of all the important issues or that I know how various demographics and groups in Springfield feel or think about things. What I intend to do is to remain open to the input of the people of Springfield, to seek out the voices of the underrepresented and bring their message into the legislative process, and to work with the rest of council to find and implement the best ideas and programs.
    If you agree with my stance on the issues, rest assured I’ll be working to further those priorities. But no, I’m not proposing specific solutions. I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep.
  2. CAN YOU FIX (INSERT SPECIFIC PROBLEM)?
    I will always be open to being informed about issues in the city which are impacting Springfield in negative ways. I think the system by which the city governs leaves a lot of cracks for issues which greatly impact certain areas or certain groups of people to fall through. So yes, I’m open to hearing about the issues you face which might have been overlooked or poorly addressed. Knowing the experiences of residents who are impacted by systemic problems is a valuable tool to legislators.
    But it is not the job of City Council to address individual grievances. I remember a council meeting not too long ago where a current council member took the opportunity to publicly relay the complaint of a developer about noise ordinance violations to the city manager, which I thought was a misuse of council power. It’s no better for council members to get personally involved in interactions between individual citizens and city agencies. We should have better mechanisms for citizens to contact the city and address grievances, but doing so through members of council is not the solution.
  3. HOW CAN I HELP YOUR CAMPAIGN?
    a. The biggest need of any campaign is money, first of all. Unlike some other candidates in this election, I’d don’t have (and am not asking for) the backing of PACs or prominent area donors with deep pockets. I could always use donations – even $10 is a help: https://www.crowdpac.com/contribute/338759
    b. The second biggest need is networking opportunities. I’m always open to speaking at local community groups of all kinds, so if you are a member of a group who would be open to a visit from a local progressive candidate, please put us in contact. Better than that, even, is hosting a house party event. It’s very simple: you invite your friends and colleagues over and host a gathering so I can meet them. It can be as casual or formal as you and your friends like, and it’s a great way for me to meet and talk to people in the community. Contact me if you’d like to host one.
    c. Otherwise, campaigns are all about getting visibility. Share my Facebook page, Twitter feed, or this website. Talk to your friends. Contact me to get a yard sign. Let me know of places I could post campaign materials that I might not be aware of (not just community boards and such – most don’t allow political materials). Any way you can think of to get my name and logo out in front of voters!
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