Fresh Meat

The 2013 Municipal Election calendar was approved at last night’s City Council meeting with no comment from the public or City Councilors.

It’s a tight calendar, which means it’s a bit tougher for newer candidates to gather signatures.  Candidates can pick up nomination papers on Tuesday, March 5 at 9am, and the nomination papers need to be submitted by Tuesday, May 21 at 5pm.

I made the offer two years ago to gather signatures for any candidate, and I’m happy to make that offer again.  If you’re running for office, and you’d like me to get folks to sign your papers, I am more than willing to help.  So send me a note if you’d like some assistance.

As of right now, I count two non-incumbent candidates for City Council: Chris Rich, who’s running for District 1, and Michael Gaffney, who’s running for an at-large seat.

Lance was the first to notice Chris Rich [Facebook, Twitter] and we found out from GoLocal Worcester that he was running for District 1.  Frequent readers have long since realized that I know nothing about politics, so perhaps his decision to take on Tony Economou makes more sense to the rest of the world than it does to me.  But I suspect it will be an uphill battle to show that Economou has been anything but responsive to his constituents and/or otherwise uninvolved.

I met Michael Gaffney at last night’s City Council meeting; we made comments regarding the same item.

He’s running for an at-large seat, and he, too, has a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

He’s also donated money to Activate Worcester.

Do you remember when you were young, and you’d meet a great guy, and think, “Wow, he’s boyfriend material”, and then find out the guy liked Dave Matthews Band?  And suddenly he went from The Perfect Man to Deal Breaker?

It’s a bit like that whenever you meet a candidate and find out they’re with Activate Worcester.

I’m no fan of Activate Worcester.  I like that they try to get people active (applying for city boards, registering to vote, getting folks to serve as poll workers).  I like their TV show, especially when Ron Motta hosts.

But I don’t like the hypocrisy (asking for volunteers to “Help people who need Absentee Ballots to fill them out NOW” while complaining when Neighbor to Neighbor helps people vote at polls), and I don’t think anything excuses the shenanigans certain members of Activate Worcester participated in during the September 2012 primary election.

There may be valid reasons why someone would support Activate Worcester.  If you’re a Republican of a certain persuasion in Worcester, you don’t have many conservative political organizations to choose from.  If you’re a conservative who wants to be more active, you can either go rogue or join AW (or another Tea Party group).

So I’d be interested to see why someone like Michael Gaffney would be a member of Activate Worcester, and I’ll ask him that when he files his nomination papers.

I think it’s valid to ask what someone likes about the organization, what they agree/disagree with, and why they think it’s worth being involved.

If Donna Colorio uses Bonnie Johnson as her campaign manager again this year, I think it’s valid to ask why she would work with someone who is so polarizing.

The answers these candidates give — whether you agree with their reasons or not — would give more insight than we usually see in political reporting in the city.  Rather than ignore these candidates’ membership in a non-partisan organization, we should use that as a springboard to finding out more about candidates, just as we would information about their education, family, and other activities.

I look forward to getting to know these candidates better, and I hope there are more new faces on the horizon.

Win or lose, these folks are our neighbors.

(Well, except Bonnie Johnson!)

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3 thoughts on “Fresh Meat

  1. elmparkblogger says:

    I know Michaei Gaffney, and I am voting for him. This is exciting news. Massachusetts needs to hear other points of view.

  2. Michael Gaffney says:

    Good news! I do not like Dave Matthews Band. I have donated to Tim Murray and Rick Rushton as well (which is why I pick on Rick so much.) I think for myself. I met Scott Brown at Activate Worcester’s initial event and gave a donation. Thank you.

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