What Are The Issues
The issues are ultimately the things that you care about, whatever they may be. And in talking with the residents of District 4 and other friends and acquaintances here in Appleton, I have come to find that there are many diverse topics that people want to discuss. There are neighbors concerned with the pot holes on East South River Street, and others upset about how much their property taxes went up. Still others are worried about affordable housing, gentrification, access to better paying jobs, the state of our schools, crime, crosswalks, missed leaf pickups, bike lanes, and yes, art (and what role it should play in our public spaces.) On the small business side, a friend is not happy about how proposals for major changes to downtown Appleton will impact parking and access to his establishment, another entrepreneur was worried about his store losing customers to eCommerce, while other business owners are having a hard time competing with regional and national competitors that have moved in on their specialties. Then there are some more recent local concerns about the potential for ICE raids and Hmong deportations, as well as both support and disappointment for the recent conversion therapy ban here in Appleton.
Other times people ask if I'm Republican or Democrat and they want to talk about issues that are touchstones for identifying what political party I may prefer. They ask me where I stand on the recently completed impeachment trial, or Obama-Care, or abortion. Other times the conversations deepen, identity politics falls away, and we start talking about the things that keep us awake at night. Things like an inability to pay for unexpected repair bills, or for their kids to go to college or the tech. I've also heard reference to the loss of our democracy, about apocalyptic fires in California and Australia, and unhinged growth in both public and private debt. Some are more concerned with increasing economic stratification or problems with capitalism, with neoliberalism, or with socialism. Other times it has been very personal things like depression or anxiety or trauma or other such issues with themselves, with family or friends, or with the community in general.
These are just a sampling of the types of things I hear as I knock on doors, talk at coffee shops, and have a few beers with friends. And I do not shy away from these topics. I will discuss any of them with you in person. I'll also write and talk about them, the context around them, and how they do and don't interrelate, in the blog posts and videos I will be doing on a regular basis. But please be patient, as there is a lot to unpack if we're going to solve all of our problems!
Lastly, while the upcoming April 7th election is non-partisan, what party a candidate belongs to is often just below the surface. If you scratch a little bit, you can easily tell if someone is a Democrat or a Republican (or a Libertarian, a Green, or even a Constitutionalist)! And that is how a lot people want to vote, even when there isn't a party designation by their name. If you want to go that route, feel free. It's not hard to figure out. But as for me, I will proudly say that I am neither, and I never will be, though I have many friends and family that are. And I love them all the same. But that is a story for another day. In the meantime, if you need a brief description of what I stand for outside of party lines, you can say that I am an independent thinker who is financially conservative and socially liberal. (A bit of a cliche, I know.) More to come on this though, so be sure to check the blog out on a regular basis. That will be the best way to judge if I am worthy of your vote.
Why I'm Running
As we live in a representative democracy, I am running as a servant-leader. I want to represent you, as well as our friends and neighbors, as your Alderperson for District 4 on the Appleton Common Council. It is a position that should reflect all of you and your views on the issues and concern as I outlined above, not just some of you, and not just mine. (Though I do have a few ideas of my own!) I hope to be able to work with you to bring forth the better angels of our nature for ourselves, for each other, and for the rest of Appleton. In doing this, I will live and breath and think in alignment with what we all know the right things to do are, to have our local government represent all of us, to leave things better than we found them, and to be kind.
WHY I THINK YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR ME
I aspire to continuously develop my servant leadership abilities. If you're not familiar with servant leadership, here is a list of the 10 qualities that make for an effective servant leader. They are listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to the growth of people, and building community. See here for more details regarding what these qualities mean in relation to servant leadership. While I won't be so presumptuous to say I exhibit all the these characteristics all of the time, that is my intent.
I am experienced in defining, leading, and completing complex multi-million dollar projects.
What does this mean to you?
- It means I know my way around spreadsheets, financial terms, income statements, balance sheets, pro forma cash flows, and more. So when there are questions about TIF's (Tax Increment Financing), budgets, and debt, I will be able to ask the tough financial questions so you can be assured that the city of Appleton will be financially healthy.
- It means I know how project plans work, what a Work Breakdown Structure is, and what constitutes a critical path, so that when projects are being planned, executed, and completed, I can help to ensure that they make sense and come in on time, on budget, and that they fulfill the agreed upon acceptance criteria.
I am a systems thinker and am formally trained in systems analysis and design.
OK, that probably sounds like gobbledygook to a lot of people, as does a lot of the financial and project management stuff I talked about above. I apologize for that. As an interesting aside, did you know gobbledygook is a real word? It was originally coined in 1944 by a congressman to describe the obscure jargon used by bureaucrats and policymakers in Washington D.C. It reminded him of the sound of turkeys gobbling. Go figure, the more things change, the more they remain the same! Anyway, I think you get the picture. I speak gobbledygook. But that also means I can translate it! And that is my goal. To listen to the specialists, the experts, and the learned, and be able to distill the gist of what they are saying into things that are more easily understood.
If you want to know more about me, my career, and what I've done professionally, here is my LinkedIn profile. (You can also click on the appropriate icon in the social media bar at the bottom of this page and in the footer) I'll also see what I can do to get a pdf of my profile loaded to this web site in the near future for those of you without a LinkedIn account.