Why are you running?
Do I live in 9B?
Can I donate online?
All of those questions can finally be answered with the release of our campaign website - www.tomcoale.com.
I have been fortunate enough to have friends who know what they're doing with web design and I'm quite proud of what we've come up with. It is a little slow to load, which makes me think there will be a Go Daddy upgrade in our near future (unless any of you have suggestions). As the campaign moves forward, we will post additional campaign planks and explore new "widgets" to start promoting new ways to engage all of you in a discussion of the issues.
Inspire Columbia is a great example. One does not simply offer a blank website and say "engage". It must be structured in such a way that offers a platform. In the context of that platform, and "suggested topics", new ideas are generated and propagated through the system that originally hosted most "institutional" concerns.
Another important facet of engagement is utilizing dynamic and diverse media to communicate. Over the next week or so, we hope that there will be a video clip of my announcement for those of you who could not make it. I expect that we will continue to post videos, podcasts, and text throughout the campaign to make the website something you want to come back to.
On Tuesday, I promised that in making this "Your Government", we would focus not only on "transparency", but clarity. The amount of "data" available to analyze the workings of your State Government is oppressive and, more often than not, does not contain the nugget of information you are looking for. We've been fortunate enough in the past to have writers like Sarah at Sarah Says and Frank Hecker to put that data in formats you can understand and use. I would like to do that early, to explain my positions, and further ignite engagement and discussion. Google maps has opened so many doors to what can be done with their platform (see here) and I would like to continue to explore that as a communication tool. We can move from the question of "What issues are you facing in your community?" to "Where?"
But most importantly, this needs to project out into real life interactions. I'm not looking to campaign on the other side of the Internet. Most of what I will need to do, and am excited to do, is get out into the neighborhoods of 9B and meet people. For all of you who have asked "How can I help?" that's step one. Give me a chance to meet your friends and neighbors and tell them what this campaign is all about.
Orioles win big (13-3) as they take an important series from the Tigers and, with a Red Sox loss, move up to 1.5 games out of first place.
Pete Pichaske with The Sun writes that we are loving Centennial Park "to death." As noted in the piece, it really is a perfect park and appears to be drawing people from as far away as Montgomery County. This use and overuse is killing grass and threatening the environmental respite of the park. County officials are conducting an analysis of what may be done to limit this damage and I wouldn't be surprised to see "paid parking" come into play.
The Dar-us-Salaam comprehensive rezoning request for the Woodmont property has been withdrawn, writes Blair Ames in The Sun. It appears that there are ongoing negotiations between the community group(s) that fought the request and the petitioner, which may result in the best outcome for all parties involved.
As you may have heard, there is another zoning kerfuffle in Fulton as 91 acres of Maple Lawn have been proposed for development that would max out at 1,395 units. Luke Lavoie notes that Council-member Greg Fox has championed more restrictive zoning for this property, preventing, or severely restricting, development of the land.
Featured Blog Post of the Day: AnnieRie reminds us that this is Small Business week and encourages us to get out and celebrate it! Being the son of a small business owner, I love an opportunity to celebrate, and show appreciation for, our local economy. "Thinking small", as AnnieRie puts it, is a great way to guide your purchases throughout the rest of the week. Yes, it may be easier (and cheaper) to get it from a box store, but it does not come with the heavy dose of satisfaction that you get when buying something from someone who takes pride in the sale.
That's all for today. Have a great Thursday doing what you love. Rock on.