Wednesday, August 29, 2018

90% of Life - and Elections - is Showing Up

In a real sense, the big takeaways from last night's candidate forum (hosted by Our Revolution Corvallis Allies and the local DSA chapter) were things that didn't happen, with the first and foremost being the fact that Pat Malone, the Democratic candidate, simply didn't show up. I still can't quite believe he did that.

By refusing to show up, Pat leaves voters with only negative lenses through which to view that decision. Was he afraid to show up? Dismissive of voters? Just plain lazy? I find it hard to conceive of a reason that doesn't reflect poorly on Pat. When you're a candidate, it's your job to be available and answer people's questions. If you're not going to be responsive to voters when you're a candidate, it's very difficult to believe you'll be responsive as an elected official. The arrogance and disrespect for both voters and the process that this decision shows is really quite stunning.

On a similar note, it was extremely disappointing to see Sami Al-Abdrabbuh also disrespecting the process and misleading those in attendance. Just by looking back through the entries on this blog, you can see that I've been out in the community, going to meetings, listening to people's concerns, gathering information, and proactively working on this campaign for nearly a year. Sami impulsively jumped into this race less than two weeks ago, but last night he kept speaking as though he'd been out there on the campaign trail for months and months. It was a shockingly cynical and deceptive approach to take, and says more about his character than he probably intended.

There are no shortcuts to public service. There's nothing noble about deception. And the process, imperfect though it may be, does matter, as does treating voters with honesty and respect. These are values I believe in, and try my best to abide by. That's why I have run my campaign the way I have, and embrace transparency and constantly seek feedback. I'm running for this position because I know it's important - and that important tasks have gone unattended to for too long. I want to change that, I want to be a good public servant and a catalyst for positive change.

I won't lie to you. Last night, I was a little off my game, and I wish I had done a little better at conveying some parts of my platform. But I take some comfort in knowing that, off night or not, at least the people who attended know I'll show up for them, and that I won't try to bluff my way into office. I've put my positions out publically, in writing, for months and months. I've given this task the time it requires, and I trust voters can see the work I've put in, and the care that I've given to running an informed and impassioned campaign. Public service is integral to who I am, and I think that in the end, that cold, hard fact counts a lot more than all the hot air in the world.

Thanks to everyone who turned out last night - including the candidates who took the time to show up. And a special thank you to all the volunteers on my campaign who showed up in their campaign t-shirts last night! You were a hard-to-miss presence in the crowd.

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