Here are the questions I most frequently receive. Here are my answers.
Why are you running for city council?
I love this city. Edmund Burke once said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I think “evil” could be a lot of things. But whatever we feel it could be that, the most detrimental thing we could do in response is practice apathy. If we want to make a difference, we need to be actively engaged.
Something that struck me as kind of neat during a 2012 Republican Primary debate: candidate Jon Huntsman, had been a popular Utah governor, winning re-election in 2008 with 78 percent of the vote. However, in 2009, he become the U.S. Ambassador to China. Many political strategists suggested that this was a good move initiated by Democrats to thwart Huntsman from gaining more political power, as he was seen as “on the rise.” Some asked why in the world he would ever accept a post like that from a Democrat president. Debate moderator Chris Wallace said “… You served as President Obama’s ambassador to China. Some people have suggested that maybe you’re running for president in the wrong party.” Huntsman’s response: “I’m proud of my service to this country. If you love your country, you serve her.”
I feel the exact same way about my city. I love my city. So I feel it is my duty to serve her. This isn’t “a gig.” I’m not in this for some misplaced glory. It’s about service in a way I feel can make a maximum difference.
What is your “platform?”
A more engaged Pullman. We’ll start with Ward 3. This question about a “platform” is always one of those things that is asked during all levels of election campaigns. I’m not focused on one issue. I think that does a disservice to everyone. I know of a person in Pullman who considers herself to be extremely involved in the city, but is only ever concerned about one thing. It’s like an obsession. And while I would lean on her to help increase my knowledge on that issue, you can’t run a local campaign on one issue. So I have multiple issues I think we could improve upon, but it is engagement that will help us solve all other issues. With a more engaged Pullman, we can bring the best ideas from the widest variety of people. The one will help the others, whatever they may be.
Do you feel you can do a better job than your opponent?
Yes, I do. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be running. And my “opponent” has a name: it’s Jeff. He deserves to be called that.
How do you think you’ll do better than Jeff?
Well, since my main focus is on engagement, I would have to answer to that specifically. So the real question is: do I believe I can engage Pullman residents, including the voters of Ward 3, better than Jeff? I believe so. I think Jeff is a good man, very ethical, and seemingly very kind. But, while I don’t have hard, conclusive data to support this, when I ask around, nobody in Ward 3 seems to know who he is. I’m not talking about certain city power brokers or people with whom Jeff currently serves, I’m talking about our voters… the other 95 percent. I think that’s a problem. I’ll try to engage more people.
So, how do you plan on engaging Ward 3 residents?
I’d say I’m a naturally gregarious individual. I like to talk to people. I like to find out their story. I like talking about current events and our common love for Pullman.
As a career, I’m a marketing and communications director. I curate a lot of content on a daily basis: building websites, hosting podcasts, designing flyers and brochures, and sending e-newsletters.
As a city councilor, I fully plan to send a monthly email or e-newsletter to all constituents who choose to receive them, updating them on where I see progress being made toward our city goals, challenges we’ve met, areas where residents can help out, etc. You know, I think a monthly city podcast could be kind of neat… not promising that, just thinking about it… the wheels are turning. And I’ll always, always “keep my door open.”
There are limitations to what can be discussed in quasi-judicial matters (e.g., no ex parte communication), but there is not as it relates to policy. And I’m always happy to talk to folks about this.
Aside from engagement, what is your No. 1 concern?
Well, we’re growing, no doubt about it. With our planning, and policies, we have to keep up! We can’t pretend we’re in a slow-growth model anymore. We need to make sure we make sensible choices in how we deal with all the issues I outlined here.
When did you get interested in local politics?
I’m not. I am interested in local issues, however. Sorry, this may seem idealistic, but I think with a non-partisan position such as city councilor, we can make politics and issues mutually exclusive.
What’s your timeline for everything?
I’m already talking to people. A lot of people. I think that’s important.
Officially filing with the county auditor has already happened.
I’ll probably host some getting-to-know-you events. These will continue periodically throughout the summer and fall, perhaps in conjunction with a pretty heavy amount of early-season home football games!
There will be a lot of door-knocking throughout.
If a third person files, that could throw a wrench in things, in terms of necessitating a primary. Otherwise, I plan on November requiring me to either make or accept a congratulatory call to Jeff at the end of the night. I hope it’s the latter, but that’ll be up to the voters.