So why are you running?
I have been having wonderful conversations with people over the past weeks, especially after the provincial election, when people's thoughts here in Hamilton naturally turned more to our own municipal election. One example was the lengthy conversation at my launch on June 27 which proved very fruitful in the topics we mulled over together.
Many have visited my website and follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter. Yet after reading what I have to say, people still ask me why I am running for Council.
The answer is both simple and complex. Our Council needs to work together in an effective, sustained way that employs synergy as a principle within itself as well as with its staff, and sees residents of Hamilton as intrinsic to that synergy. I have commited myself to this as my main priority, since all of the other items on my platform (and indeed most items on everyone's platform) rely heavily on a profound level of effective sustained cooperation on Council.
I have already begun to tackle the need to work together by facilitating a discussion with other candidates. We have been talking about our campaign priorities and what we agree on within our platforms. Next, we can explore a variety of ways to help and support each other in the hard work ahead for the next months, including practising for debates and meet the candidate events; best practices for door-knocking and social media; and other nuts and bolts of the campaign.
Ultimately, though, we must discuss the specific ways that if elected we could address together the priorities that we have identified as urgent needs of our city. These conversations are already happening among several of us, and will only grow in number and depth as we continue to talk:
Simple, right? All we have to do is work together for the greater good of all of Hamilton. But I don't need to tell you that this is also very complex in practical terms. We have to prioritize time to work together when there are so many other things we have to do. We have to have a basic level of trust when we are just beginning to get to know each other. And the list goes on...
I know that there will be many challenges along the way. I have actively facilitated difficult discussions for decades in a wide variety of boards and as President of the International Association of Kumon Franchisees, and I know that it is not easy focusing on common goals rather than being pulled away to more local and personal interests. But I also know it can be done when you have people willing to work with you, and that it is always worth doing my best to do it well.
Will you work with me to this end? Let's sit down together to talk about what Hamilton needs and how we can get there.