Home > community, dogs, politics > 2nd ward city council

2nd ward city council

So my life appears to have gotten a lot more interesting. Its been weird adjusting to an empty house with Dad gone, and John and Kevin moved on with their lives. I have kind of appreciated the silence and aloneness, being social for a living. I was looking forward to getting a little more productive around the house and being more physically active with the dog. But I read the paper.

Last weekend I saw my city council rep Jason Thornhill in the paper with an article that nobody is running for city council in the second ward. Hmmm. They had contingency plans of write in elections if no one applies to be on the ballot or even Jason out of the goodness of his heart said he would continue to serve if no one ran. That seems insane and so I thought, well shit, I am just sitting around with the dog why don’t I do it. I had cancelled my satellite, my DVD player broke and only one channel comes in so its not like I can sit around and watch TV. If I blog more, I’ll start losing subscribers.

So I posted on Facebook, “should I run for 2nd ward city council? Nobody else is.” People liked it and it got 20 comments. Only one cautionary “It’ll cut into your reading time.” But I’m not that into reading anymore, except for comic books (mid 70s Spider Man now). The novel I’m reading has footnotes, that’s kind of wrong in some ways.

It was a holiday weekend so I got to sit on the idea without any way to move it forward. Did hash it around with Trevor and he put me on to a ward map and pushed me to call the city clerk instead of just dropping by as had been my plan. That was a good move. She was very cool. Don’t tell me anything, the media calls every day to see what’s up. My address and phone number will become a public record. Might be OK, right now no one calls and I pay a chunk of change for the phone. I can always just turn off the ringers.

I feel like my address is already an open book. Every drunk and drug addict in town knows where I live because I live a block from the substance abuse treatment agency I work at. I just try to be nice to people and I feel safe.

At lunch I picked up the forms and talked to the city clerk. She was cool and organized. My lunch runs 11:30-12:30 so I can get business done if I’m lucky and I was today. You only need 50 signatures to get on the ballot but you can only submit 75. That makes me nervous because I don’t know if I’ll make the cut off to get them checked and have time to get more. I got 25 today, and turned one down because I didn’t want to go back out which I regret now so I feel pretty good about it. If I knocked them all out by Thursday night I could maybe find out in time to get a few more Tuesday, the cut off day. It would be a nice sign of organizational strength to do it. I have been careful to be clear I need registered voters and have steered clear of rentals when I know of them.

It was surprisingly fun collecting signatures. I went to Henry’s first and he showed me his remodeling project. Our houses were built by the same developer so his copper pipes welded to steel nipples corrosion problem could be an issue for me. I don’t know. John and Mary were next and then I had to hit strangers. It gets dark early so some people thought it was a little sketchy but most were really nice. Some had me in and rounded up the family to sign. At one house there was a dog party so the pug and chihuahua were wearing tutus. The 17 year old demanded an anti-chihuahua policy to win his vote. I had to stand mute and took the political stance that I was pro dog.

An older woman gave me the third degree and couldn’t figure out where I’d seen her before, it came out she was animal control and I got to thank her for her service. The Shaws offered me ginger ale and we got caught up and reintroduced. The guy in his boxers with the pistol in the waste band is now my Facebook friend. I went to almost every house on my street and introduced myself. It was really really cool.

“Are you a Republican or a Democrat?” was the most common question. “I am an independent” I would say which was never good enough so sometimes I would add “I lean to the left though” although once I said “well, I’m actually an anarchist but that seems too complicated to talk about on someone’s stoop”.

i didn’t tell anyone i’m casual about punctuation and capitalization if someone is not paying me to write. the stipend doesn’t kick in for two years so its half a volunteer gig. sacrifice for the community. i’ll pay it but i won’t pay muting my autthentic voice or pretending to be something i’m not.

People want more cops and people want less cops. Maybe its what side of the street your on. Some people want to know what you stand for, and the neighborhood watch was alerted. someone was “canvassing the neighborhood”. He had a cap and had a beard and I’d never heard of his address. He said he was collecting signatures for 2nd ward City Council.

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  1. Trevor Harris
    January 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I applaud you for taking this step to serve your community.

    People are naturally dubious about anything electoral outside of elections. Debating and discussing issues with fellow citizens – the essence of democracy – allows us to find out what peoples’ true colors are. Interesting that demopublican vs. republicrat is the most common question as if that tells you anything. Local elections are not partisan. Sewer lines are neither republican or democrat. Local elections seem to get settled because a candidate is pro-dog or not. Or in favor of more livable streets. Like you are.


  2. January 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    That’s awesome! Way to take initiative in your community! Your posts center so much around where you live, the people you meet, and the places you go in town, so it’s perfectly fitting that you run for city counsel. You obviously care for and love your city, and if you got 25 signatures in one day, it must show! I wish I could sign your petition! I wish I could sign my name on a piece of paper and scan it to you.

    Also, I’m really sorry about the loss of your dad. I meant to comment on the post you wrote about him a while ago, but obviously I forgot. It’s always really hard going through the death of a loved one. Recently two of my uncles died- one of them after undergoing similar treatments as your dad did. Our family decided to take him off of the breathing tubes after a week or two, and it was really hard for all of us. However, for me it helped to have something to concentrate on. I was starting college at the time, and it was really good for me to channel my feelings for my uncles into it and do my best for them. Maybe running for city council could be in part for your dad?

  3. January 5, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you Trevor and Kato. I don’t have long as I want to try to get some more signatures tonight but wanted to thank you both for your comments. Certainly if Dad were still alive I wouldn’t have the freedom to take on this undertaking and its been a good experience so far. Also wanted to say Kato I enjoyed your song, it was really cool. Anyway out for some classic shoe leather level politics, the only kind worth doing, at least in this anarchist’s perspective.

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