As much as I enjoy Barack Obama's oratory style and presence, there were few things in last night's State of the Union speech that stood out to me as any kind of departure from the typical talking points of this event, which are usually:
One aspect of deciding to run for City Council that took the most research was understanding just what the filing process looks like. One might raise the question of whether the process is intentionally engineered to be a little mysterious and intimidating, if we didn't know that there are many parts of the government that are a little mysterious and intimidating. 🙂
So although I am myself very new to the process of running for office, I thought I'd share along the way what I've learned about how it works, in hopes that anyone who might want to join me or who might later follow in my footsteps can do so a little bit more efficiently.
I've blogged before about my political aspirations, and now I'm happy to announce that I'm running for a political office. Earlier today, I filed for candidacy for an At-Large seat on Richmond, Indiana's Common Council.
I've spent much of my time and energy over the last decade of my life investing myself in Richmond in one form or another. I've written many words in this space about what I see as Richmond's opportunities and challenges, and I've always enjoyed observing the local political scene. Now, I'm taking my involvement to what I think is the next logical step given my talents and passions.
I don't expect to write much about the campaign here; this blog will continue to be for my personal and unofficial musings on a variety of topics. I have a campaign website setup, and I've got the twitters and the youtubes and the facebooks all ready for you to liketweet if that's your thing. If you're interested in the campaign, my positions on various issues affecting the community, and how you can help move Richmond forward, please check it out. Even a few words of support will mean a lot!
It's no secret that I'm a "newcomer to running for office" in this political race, and that this label lines me up to be one half of a long-running dance that newcomers and incumbents do as a part of political campaigns.
The newcomer says, "I'm here with fresh ideas and a different way of doing things, out with the old and in with the new, vote for me, change you can believe in!" and so on.
The incumbent says, "Why would you want to bring in someone who doesn't have any experience in this position, when you've got me? I've been doing this for a while, I know how it works, I'm the best bang for your buck."
The reality, of course, is that both perspectives can be right.
RICHMOND - Today local business owner and community volunteer Chris Hardie announced his candidacy for Richmond's Common Council At-Large. Hardie, 33, has extensive experience in community building and a positive vision for the work of the Council.
"I believe that Richmond is capable of great things," Hardie said, "and I'm excited to be a part of a new generation of community leadership that can help make those things happen. We can no longer afford to be paralyzed by the past and old ways of thinking. It's time to move forward and I want to lead and join progressive thinking that will make us a more vibrant community."
I heard the sad news this morning that Bob Rosa, retired local businessman and community builder, has died in a car wreck, and that his wife is hurt and at the hospital.
I didn't know Bob very well personally, but had the honor to serve with him on a local board, and had the chance to see his passion for making this community a better place at work. My understanding is that Bob gave openly of his time, money and spirit to the causes he believed in, impressively modeling an engagement with Richmond's core needs.
I hope that our community can honor his legacy well, and support his wife Jane in her grieving and healing.
Tom Amyx is giving away the business he spent the last 20 years of his life building.
This morning when I spoke with Tom, the owner of Tom's New York Deli here in Richmond, he talked of troubling health issues and financial factors in his decision, but he seemed as energetic and excited as ever. He opened the restaurant in December of 1991 and it's been a fixture on Main Street in the downtown business district ever since. Professionals, passers-through, families and sports teams alike frequent the establishment, which is known for its great sandwiches, corny jokes and extensive collection of local and national memorabilia.
But as he looks toward the next phase of his own life, instead of trying to sell the small restaurant to the highest bidder, or close it down altogether, he's ready to give it away to the person who would bring the best vision for its future.