Political transparency and Bing Welch's health

PosingToday's Palladium-Item editorial "Politics cheats citizens" calls out the ways in which local political maneuvering can do a disservice to voters, in this case with the less-than-transparent approach that was taken to handling the unfortunate health issues affecting Richmond City Council's District 5 representative, Bing Welch, during the recent election campaign:

Whether it is the 2009 Christmas Eve Senate passage of a huge, and hugely controversial, health care reform measure by Democrats narrowly controlling the U.S. Senate or, closer to home, Republicans and Democrats waiting until after a general election to craft their respective political handiwork, this is the stuff that alienates and isolates the public from those who have sworn to represent their best interests.

Through any such conversation we must of course be sensitive to Mr. Welch's experience along the way.  I certainly wish him the best in recovering his health, and appreciate the years of time and service he has given to the Richmond community and the residents of District 5.  It's not easy to be a political figure in the public spotlight even when you're healthy, and so we know that it must have been particularly hard on Bing and his family to have health concerns and questions about his ability to serve in that role all mixed in together.

Continue reading Political transparency and Bing Welch's health

Chris's campaign concludes, work continues

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series 2011 City Council Campaign

In today's election, the citizens of Richmond made a choice about who they want to help shape the future of this community in the coming years. While I am of course disappointed that I was not elected to City Council, I am grateful for the votes I did receive and for the amazing support I've had along the way.

Some highlights from the unofficial results [PDF]:

  • 5,945 voters voted
  • 2,717 of those voted for me to be one of the three members of City Council At-Large, 201 votes short of a win

This has been my first foray into politics, and it's been an incredibly rewarding journey. As I've walked through neighborhoods in Richmond, I've had a chance to hear from residents here what issues matter most to them. As I've sat down with community leaders and decision-makers, I've learned about the complexities of building a thriving city in tough economic times. As I've talked with supporters and members of the media, I've enjoyed being challenged to communicate my hopes and views concisely and authentically. In these last nine plus months I've come to appreciate how much important work there is to do in this great town, and how many opportunities we have to make it better.

I congratulate the winners of today's election, and wish them the very best as they take office or continue in their existing roles. I ask each of them to stay true to the promises they've made during this election, and to hold themselves accountable to the ideas and vision that they set forth in their campaigns.

My campaign would not have been possible without the gracious support and enthusiasm of those who have lent their time and talents in many forms:

Continue reading Chris's campaign concludes, work continues

Back into campaign and election season

In the Spring, I mentioned here that I was running for political office as a candidate for Richmond City Council here in Richmond, Indiana - my first real venture into politics.  I never did post an update on this blog that I won the Primary Election held in May (YAY!), and so now I'm on the ballot for consideration in the November general election.

Despite having lots of overlap in subject matter between my political efforts and my writings here, I will generally continue to keep my campaign-related news and updates on my ChrisOnCouncil.com website (BOOKMARK IT), and on my campaign Facebook page (LIKE IT) and Twitter account (FOLLOW IT).  But, I thought I'd give you a taste of some of the material my campaign is creating as we get back into that season.

You can watch a YouTube video interview with me:

Continue reading Back into campaign and election season

Chris wins in the primary!

This entry is part 8 of 20 in the series 2011 City Council Campaign

In today's primary election, the citizens of Richmond made a choice about who they want to help shape the future of this community in the coming years. I'm grateful that in that process, voters have chosen me to continue on to the general election in the Fall as a candidate for City Council At-Large!

Some highlights from the unofficial results:

  • 14.46% of Richmond's registered voters voted
  • 54.92% of those voting chose a Democratic ballot over a Republican ballot
  • 791 of those voted for me to be one of the three Democratic candidates for City Council At-Large in the fall general election

This has been my first foray into politics, and it's been an incredibly rewarding journey so far. As I've walked through neighborhoods in Richmond, I've had a chance to hear from residents here what issues matter most to them. As I've sat down with community leaders and decision-makers, I've learned about the complexities of building a thriving city in tough economic times. As I've talked with supporters and members of the media, I've enjoyed being challenged to communicate my hopes and views concisely and authentically. In these last few months I've come to appreciate how much important work there is to do in this great town, and how many opportunities we have to make it better.

Today's win would not have been possible without the gracious support and enthusiasm of those who have lent their time and talents to my campaign in many forms.

Continue reading Chris wins in the primary!

Scenes from Primary Season

This entry is part 6 of 20 in the series 2011 City Council Campaign

Scraps of paper floating around my car with addresses scrawled on them for delivering yard signs and brochures.

Notes and programs from "must attend" (for a candidate, anyway) governmental and organizational meetings that seem to happen daily now, scattered across my desk.

People giving me warm "congratulations!" and me still not being sure if it's because I'm running for office or getting married or hired a new staff member at work or because I just did a nice parking job.  "Thank you, I'm very excited!" is a genuine initial response for all four cases, and context clues help from there.

Surreal experiences of driving down random streets and seeing my name on a sign up ahead, still a bit jolting each time, I hope it always will be.

Continue reading Scenes from Primary Season

I'm running for office

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!

The Don Bates Jr. campaign for U.S. Senate

Council MeetingRichmond, Indiana businessman Don Bates Jr. is running for election to the U.S. Senate.  It seems somewhat rare that a local person runs for national office, and as a participant in the local political blogging culture, I think that makes me obligated to comment, right?  🙂

Bates has a campaign website, a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel, so he can check the "modern candidate" requirements off the list.  The content of the website is at times confusing in its construction and full of typos and grammatical errors, and generally seems a notch below what one might expect from a national candidate.  But then again, if that's the worst you can say about a campaign, we're doing pretty well, and at least Bates is putting his views out there for examination and discussion.

On "the issues," the theme of Bates` positions seem to be (A) fight against whatever Barack Obama and other Democrats wants to do,  and (B) try to resurrect the politics, if not the physical incarnation, of former President Ronald Reagan.  I'm almost not kidding about the resurrection part: Continue reading The Don Bates Jr. campaign for U.S. Senate