Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The "How" of Governing

We had a fantastic night.  Campaign fundraisers are incredibly stressful affairs for the candidate (and campaign team).  I didn't get much sleep Monday night, but was out like a light last night.  Yet again, it is all thanks to my family and friends.  I had a chance to look out at the crowd last night and think about how thankful I am for all of you.  Tickets were $100, which is a substantial amount to come from the family budget.  You showed up all the same, and that means a great deal.  Thank you.

Here is a video compilation of last night's remarks:

Here is a script of what I intended to say (which came through for the most part):

I remember not too long ago, there was a vote before the Council that I supported and had called Calvin about.  Calvin was Council Chair at the time and told me he agreed.  He also said that three other Council members agreed, but that they were still negotiating.  As someone who believed passionately in this issue, I asked him why they were still negotiating.  "You can count to four, it's done".  He responded that it was his role as Chair to try to reach a consensus across all five members whenever possible.  He didn't want to leave anyone out of the process.  It didn't always happen, but Calvin saw it as his role to try.

That's the kind of legislator I want to be.   

So much of campaigning is answering questions that begin with "What".  "What is your position on X?"  "What will you do if X?"  "What do you think about X?" But if you look around this museum, and you study our history, you'll find that the real question is How.

How will we meet the challenges of our day?
How will we bring people together on matters of controversy?
How will we make our communities safer while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens?
How will we protect our environment without crippling our economy?
How will we lift up our most vulnerable without creating a culture of reliance?

How will we reach a consensus, even when we don't have to?

Working out the "how" is what separates law-makers from politicians.  Coming at problems with ideology, prejudices, and false certainty does not solve them.  It often makes them worse.  And what I'm coming here today to tell you is that I will be a problem solver.  I will work with whomever will work with me to make Ellicott City and Maryland a better place to live.  I will make it my mission to broaden the tent and welcome more people into the process.

As a Delegate, you can't single-handedly solve homelessness or restructure the tax code, but you can fundamentally change the way people experience their government.  THAT may be more powerful than any piece of legislation that comes out of Annapolis next winter.

 I'm proud of what this campaign is about and what we are becoming known for.  I'm proud of the supporters we have earned and the supporters we continue to reach out to.  A campaign may be a second full-time job, but it may be the most engaging, challenging, and worthwhile job I've ever had.

Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!  There is a lot going on today, including Bill Woodcock's HoCo Bloggers Party.  I am going to try to swing by, but there is another important meeting on Flood Solutions in Ellicott City that I need to attend.