Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Progress of a Snail.

I announced my U.S. Presidential campaign on May 1 to the internet without much fanfare or even notifying the media. It's now been 3 weeks and I still haven't notified the media. To date my youtube video has been viewed 52 times and my website has had 60 unique visitors. My campaign website and video are getting top 10 hits when you google "2008 write-in president."

I thought I might do my press release tonight but I was in a bad mood after today's Land Use, Housing and Transportation Committee (of Richmond City Council) which lasted from 3 - 7 pm. I just wanted to have "fun" and decompress so I called a couple of friends and hung out with them and watched TV. We watched "Outrageous TV Moments" and American Idol with the help of Tivo

Filming the video.

I filmed my youtube announcement video on April 30 and worked all evening and the next day on the video. It was a pretty tedious process-- first I had to convert the video from mpeg to dv (digital video) so I could edit it in iMovie -- that took over an hour. Then I had to sync the audio with the video. I had recorded the audio on a separate device. The audio was recorded mono and I had to convert it to stereo. Then when I saved the file in a 320x240 format -- it took 7 hours to render. The whole unedited video was over 16 minutes and weighed in at a lean 40 MB. However, I soon learned that youtube only has two limitations -- your movie may not be more than 1024 MB or longer than 10 minutes. So I uploaded the original unedited video to video.google.com. Then I edited a less than 10 minute version to upload to youtube. The editing is rough because I used Quicktime Pro to edit it and that is not such a great program to use for video editing. Oh well, it was fast and I hope I selected some good clips. Also there are some funny surprises in the complete unedited version. I'd like to invite citizens to make their own edits of the video and upload them to youtube. I'll post any favorites to my website.

I'm had a long day and I'm tired. So I'm going to call it a night.

Get involved in your government!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Now What?

I just re-read that last post. I am surprised by its ambitious tone. I suppose a lot has changed since that last writing. I am no longer planning to run for Richmond Mayor, though the current announced candidates are abysmal. Delegate Dwight Jones, whose been in the the House of Delegates for 15 years announced for mayor on April 16. Jackie Jackson, former Council woman and School Board member dropped from the race shortly after Jones announced his candidacy. Delegate Jones is also Reverend Jones, pastor at First Baptist Church, where Jackson attends church.

So Richmond's Mayoral election is sizing up to Paul Goldman, long time Douglas Wilder crony/political advisor and Delegate Jones. With Mayor Wilder refusing to admit or decide whether or not he will seek another term. The scandal du jour is Mayor Wilder's monthly $700 car allowance for 37 months while he was also using a city owned car. On Friday, April 25, a check for $25,900 was received by the city's Department of Finance, Mayor Wilder has returned the car allowance. The car allowance story came out as a result of investigations conducted by the City Auditor that was prompted by a call to the city's Waste, Fraud, and Abuse hotline that reported another city employee who had been receiving the allowance and also using a city car.

I actually met with Ms. Jackson on March 28 to discuss her campaign. She was her usual bubbly self. She told me I brought a different perspective to local government. I told her I was apprehensive about her connection with corporate culture. I asked her a bunch of questions about current events and what she thought about developments. I told her I'd been to her website and I was disappointed that she didn't have a platform or specific policy recommendations. She told me that stuff was being developed and she would soon be launching a new website. I told her that out of the Council members who have been mentioned as mayoral possibilities - First District Councilman Bruce Tyler and Second District Councilman Bill Pantele - I prefered her to the options.

I'm still planning to run for U.S. President and have been putting off my announcement repeatedly. Lately whenever I've told my friends I'm running for President they respond, "President of what?" It underscores the impossibility of a campaign undertaken by a regular citizen. My current planned announcement date is May Day -- May 1, 2008.

The union at my workplace is coming along well. We submitted our first letter to the library's management last week. To check out the progress, check our website, http://www.lvaguild.org I'm also planning a website to help other Virginia state agencies organize their own labor unions.

I've got to get back to work. See you on the other side.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Hello World!

This is my first attempt to write a personal blog. Other blogs I've written were attempts at news reporting on Richmond [Virginia] City Council and last year when I ran for Virginia State Senate I did a little campaign blogging. I didn't do it as much as I would have liked, and there was more I would have liked to have said about the campaign. Blogging is writing and it is time consuming. In a world where I already don't have enough time to do all the things I'd like to do, it is hard to make time to write about myself. After all, who cares? I don't really care but I hope that this may be of some use to other citizens.

2008 will be an interesting year. We have a US presidential election well under way, as well as local City Council and mayoral elections. I have been running for office nearly annually since 2002. I've mounted 3 write-in campaigns and I've been on the ballot twice, once for State Senate in 2007 and for City Council in 2006 (5th District, currently represented by E. Martin "Marty" Jewel). In both elections I was the only challenger. In 2006, I won 14% of the vote (903 votes) and in 2007 I won 18% of the vote with 3789 votes.

This year, I plan to run for mayor of Richmond. I also plan to run for US President as a write-in candidate. Those are two reasons for this blog. I thought it would be an entertaining and educational experiment in democracy. I'm also going to attempt to start a labor union at my work place, the Library of Virginia. I will chronicle the successes, failures, and lessons learned.

It's my hope that I will be able to share my experiences with others and encourage YOU to become active in politics or your community. Our society encourages the excesses of consumerism and selfish satisfaction. I want to be a part of a democratic society where every human life is valued. One for all and all for one. I hope to be of service to you.