Opening the Next Chapter
Amazing, it's been five days since Election Day already. What's crazy is that the five days prior to the election felt like an eternity. Looking forward, I have to express just how grateful I am to have experienced this campaign. For just over a year, I visited around 1500 to 2000 of you, and I had a number of really positive and enlightening conversations about what needs to be dealt with here in Newark. Each time I highlighted my vision for Newark - where Council proactively reached out to citizens on a regular basis and sought the public's input (both on what needs to be addressed as well as fielding ideas for progress) - I was pleased to see that there exists a hunger for such a democratized model of governance. Republican, Democrat, it did not matter. People liked the thought of their two cents being considered as valuable.
The 2015 campaign for council might be over, and I may not have been elected, but that doesn't mean that the job is finished. Nor does it mean that I must retreat back to my quiet little corner of town. The truth is that elections are only a piece of the puzzle in a thriving democracy. If we want to make this city, state, or country work for us, then we have to commit to a long-term plan of engagement at each stage of the political process. First, we vote. Second, we lobby for action. Third, we react to the action/inaction. This whole process depends on us staying alert and being prepared to stand up and be heard at all times.
Though I was not elected, I am still resolved to serve you in any way that I can. I will continue to attend City Council meetings and will occasionally continue to advocate there, through guest columns and letters to the editor, and via social media as well as face-to-face interaction on your behalf. My devotion is first and foremost to democracy - which is your power over the direction we take as a community -, and you can guarantee that no single election loss or victory will ever dissuade me from the cause of lifting the voices of the many who won't or can't be present every time the microphone is open. We have much work to do, and that begins now. The campaign for council was only the beginning. Are you ready for what comes next?