As I have mentioned before, one of the areas I want to see improvements on is communication. How many times have you read in the paper that a community meeting is that very night? You have no one to watch the kids, or you already committed to another event, and your voice will not be heard at that meeting. You are left to hope that someone expresses similar thoughts to your own. Sometimes you don't realize a meeting has happened till you read the meeting recap in the Ledger or Sun. Meetings are usually posted but it's not always easy to know where to look for them.
If I'm elected, I plan on keeping a comprehensive calendar of all public meetings with a special emphasis on ward one relevant meetings. This calendar will be in a static web address that you can bookmark and easily find. For our citizens who have trouble with the internet, the calendar will be mailed out. The calendar will also be posted in various public locations. I want every citizen to have the opportunity to be informed and weigh in on these important issues.
As you can see from my social media accounts, blog, and website, I enjoy communicating over the web. Every constituent who has emailed me, whether supportive or not, has received an email back from me. Online communication keeps us up to date and saves on resources like paper and postage.
However, I won't just rely on the internet to keep in touch with you. I would welcome handwritten letters, postcards, phone calls, videos, songs, skywriting or interpretive dance. But I'm also thinking of adding an old classic that I am reminded of every day at my job at MIT. Office Hours!
Each week, I will devote a two-hour block to meeting with constituents. That's eight 15-minute blocks of time. I will let you know where I'll be (restaurants, parks, etc.) and you can sign up for a 15-minute slot, or if it's slow you can just drop on by. This face to face time will allow people a chance to vent, to give their opinion, to seek help, to share an idea. As your city councilor, I want to be available because this whole thing is about helping you.
We will be a better city when everyone gets to participate. So, if I'm elected, I hope you'll stop by and let me buy you a soda or iced tea and help me get these problems solved.