This post is part of a series:
- Chris Hardie Announces Council Candidacy
- The dance of newcomer and incumbent
- Demystifying running for office
- Put another white man in office?
- Going door to door
- Scenes from Primary Season
- Scenes from election day
- Chris wins in the primary!
- Post-primary analysis
- Why THIS city election matters
- On the 2012 City Budget Process
- Chris supports local challenge to ballot law
- Chris responds to public access questions for candidates
- Political parties and the "So What?" test
- Our 'insufficient' answers about hope
- A Plan for Richmond
- The balancing act in political candidate debates
- A Pledge to Voters
- Violent crime in Richmond
- Chris's campaign concludes, work continues
Today I spent some time with a few campaign volunteers going door to door in a neighborhood in Richmond to talk about my candidacy and to listen to what's on the minds of Richmond residents.
So far, this has been one of my favorite parts of running for office! It's easy to get caught up in the immediate (and sometimes misleading) feedback that comes with various kinds of digital promotion to groups of online contacts, so there's something grounding and balancing about being face to face with one person at a time, with only a few feet and maybe a screen door between you. There's something very real about looking a stranger in the eyes while hearing about what really matters to them in an election.
This particular neighborhood could be called low-income and had a fair number of run-down properties, but what we mostly found there were people who cared about their neighbors, took pride in keeping up their houses the best they could, and were ready to see Richmond move forward. Of course, they were also tired of decreasing property values and tough economic times, tired of people dealing drugs in their alleys and on their street corners, tired of being neglected or looked down upon by some of their current City and County representatives, and tired of dogs running rampant.
Some of them don't vote at all ("never have, never will"), some of them will be voting for the first time (hooray for my volunteers getting people registered!), and some can't wait to get to their polling place to try to put some new faces in office. As I told everyone I talked to, I will be honored if I can have their support, in whatever form it might come.
I'll be continuing to talk to Richmond residents in neighborhoods across the city as we head toward the primary election on May 3rd. If you're interested in volunteering to join me in these conversations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (765) 396-8683.