St. Francis is a city in transition. Along with the lovely “starter homes” that we’re known for, St. Francis is increasingly seeing multi-family housing, condos, senior living complexes and upscale businesses that attract new residents. In the past five years, housing has been booming in St. Francis as younger couples, singles and professionals of all ages move to our city.
When it’s time to vote, where do these folks find information on elections, on the candidates and on the issues that affect their lives? For that matter, where do any of us find that information? How do average residents find information on elections in St. Francis?
The short answer is: they don’t.
During our last aldermanic election two years ago, I was working on a political campaign in the City of Milwaukee. Driving home to St. Francis after a day of knocking on doors and distributing flyers, I turned down my street and saw yard signs for St. Francis elections. Realizing that I hadn’t heard a thing about the elections in my own city, I immediately started looking for information on my candidates for alderperson and found… nothing.
I checked the web. Nothing. I checked the local newspapers. Nothing. I asked my neighbors. Nothing. I finally called City Hall and was given a list of names. There was simply no information available on candidates for alderperson. That was the point at which I started to consider running for alderperson of St. Francis District 2 myself.
When I announced my candidacy, I developed a website and blog, and I set up a Facebook campaign page, a new Twitter account and a separate email address. I began to submit articles to local media to be sure those without Internet access didn’t miss a thing.
When I’m elected as alderperson of St. Francis District 2, I plan to step up my informational postings even more. I will ask for your questions and opinions, keep you informed on what decisions are being made on your behalf at City Hall, and let you know how your tax dollars are being spent. Most important, I will arrange face-to-face meetings with fellow citizens, business owners and elected officials and be open to all forms of communication from constituents.
Information is an absolute necessity in any political campaign today. Living in the same neighborhood, belonging to the same fraternal organization, or voting as a relative does is no longer a viable option. This is the Information Age, when every news story can be heard or read within seconds of its occurrence, when communication means finding what you’re looking for within three clicks online, and when local election information should never, ever be inaccessible.
Business as usual just doesn’t work anymore. Let’s talk!
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