A maximum of 27 words that can be spoken in at most 9 seconds to get across up to 3 points on why I'm running and why you should elect me to the Lakewood City Council. A message, a frame. A good one can win an election ("Change"), a bad one can cost an election ("Lockbox"). This is the absolute first thing a serious candidate needs to peg down, and the thing I am having the most difficulty getting my head around.
My first problem: Why am I running. I mean, I know. But I don't know how to say it. At least, not in 27 words, and not without using phrases like "just kinda feels right", "because the incumbent's a *****", or "generalized lust for power". Really, I'm running because I think I can do well with the office, that I would bring a unique point of view (ie, poor, young, clever, and Democratic) that the Council hasn't ever really had, and that I've got the energy to get some new programs and projects up and running. Plus a little lust for power. Now I've got to get that into about 9 words.
Second problem: Issues. Lakewood has them. Lakewood has a lot of them. If I run on all of them, I'll lose and won't be able to address them. I have to have an opinion on them all, of course, but I've got to run on about three. The main choices:
-Crime/Safety: A natural fit, due to the fact that by freak twist of fate I'm the Vice Chair of the Public Safety Board now (even I don't know how I managed that).
-Schools: A natural fit, because I'm about 30 years closer to High School than anyone else on the board, having actually taken and passed the WASL instead of just hearing parents yelling about it.
-Community Organization: A natural fit, having been a founding member of the North Lakewood Neighborhood Association, as well as my work with the Lions and Relay for Life.
-Budget: Not the most natural fit, but I'm pretty up on the budget and can speak knowledgeably about it, I've had a couple Op-Eds published on it, and it's one of the more pressing and popular issues right now.
-Business Development: Way out of my area of expertise, but Lakewood really needs it and fortuitously enough my mother happens to be one of the City of Lakewood's Development Agents, so I've got a bit of an inside track should I choose to to go that route.
-More Progressive Topics (Healtcare, Human Services, Community Programs, Unions, etc): I'm very up on the various issues here and could run hard with 'em, though I'd have to be very, very sensitive to the mood of Lakewood to make sure I wasn't going too far.
-Family Ties: "My mom's been with the city for as long as it's been a city, and I've grown up together with it", only not lame and Hallmarky.
-General 'Lakewood is AWESOME': Not so much an issue as a frame, but still a valid message to run with.
Now, I've got to cut down to one or two of those issues (or others not covered here) and integrate it with my previous bit on why I'm running to make a complete coherent thought that would resonate and survive all the way through next year's election. This will affect everything from doorbelling scripts to mail pieces to targeting universes. Make or break the campaign, as it were.
Suggestions... Are very welcome. Current Mood: numb