With Early Voting starting at the Planetarium in Chapel Hill tomorrow (Oct 19th - along with our on campus rally at noon at Polk Place) and the election only about 2 weeks out (Nov 3rd), I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little information about the campaign and most importantly let you know how you can help by volunteering during the next couple of weeks.
In case you aren't familiar with him or the campaign, here is a brief intro:
Follow me below the fold for more information about Mark & what he stands for, to learn why he's earned the endorsements & support of the Sierra Club, the Indy Weekly, the UNC Young Dems, & a former Chapel Hill Mayor Ken Broun, and learn how you can help with the campaign during the final weeks!
To fill you in on his experience & outlook, I wanted to share a few of his responses from the Indy Questionnaire:
1. What is there in your public record or other experience that demonstrates your ability to be an effective leader? Please be specific about your public and community service background.
I have held a number of leadership positions including having been elected twice to the Chapel Hill Town Council. In addition, I have served as the President of the ACLU of North Carolina and on the Board of Directors for Equality North Carolina. I have also been an active member of the Democratic Party having served as the Chairman of the Weaver Dairy Precinct, as a delegate to the county and state conventions, and as a member of the State Executive Committee. Through my role as the executive director of the Fair Trial Initiative I have been a leader in the effort to reform our criminal justice system and particularly the way the death penalty is used in North Carolina. My work at the Fair Trial Initiative has required working closely with state policy makers to craft statewide reforms and to educate the public on the effect of these reforms.
As Council Member I have served on several committees mediating differences between neighborhoods and developers, and I have served as chair of the Council's Economic Development Committee and the Council's Communications Committee. My work on the Economic Development Committee has lead to the creation of an Economic Development Office that has transformed the way local government works with businesses, developers and the public on economic issues. On the Communications Committee, we have implemented programs to enhance transparency in government and to educate and inform citizens regarding how their government works and on issues that affect their quality of life.
2. How do you define yourself politically and how does your political philosophy show itself in your past achievements and present campaign platform?
I am the only truly progressive candidate this year in the race for Mayor of Chapel Hill. My entire public and professional life has been dedicated to public service and advancing goals of environmental protection, social equity, and responsible government. As a Council Member, I am proud of the work that has lead to the creation of our land use management ordinance. Chapel Hill's land use policies have some of the strongest environmental protections in the state while providing for the opportunity for growth in a way that protects and enhances our community's character. As a Council Member and a private citizen I have been a one of the strongest voices in our state for the rights of gay and lesbian citizens, and this year I worked tirelessly toward passage of the Racial Justice Act in the State Legislature. I am one of the Council's strongest advocates for our Town Employees, I am on the record supporting collective bargaining for municipal employees and have played an instrumental role in creating a strategy for addressing the needs of the Rogers Road community. Because both my professional and political lives have been focused on identifying solutions to difficult social problems you can trust that my leadership as Mayor will continued to be guided by these values. I will continue our community's commitment to protecting our environment, reducing our carbon footprint, improve our inter-city and intra-city transportation systems. I realize our social and environmental goals will require a strong economic climate and to that end Chapel Hill must continue an aggressive approach to redeveloping our under-utilized commercial centers and to increasing our commercial tax base.
If you'd like to research the campaign further and check out his endorsements & supporters, you can do so here:
UNC Young Dems
Former Mayor Ken Broun
If you like what you see and want to get involved now that the election is getting underway, here are some ways you can help:
Mark Kleinschmidt Rally and Early Vote!! Mon - Oct 19th at Noon
(bring an extra stapler &/or thumbtacks if you have them to help post flyers)
Canvassing – Walking Colonial Heights. Sat - Oct 24th at 12:30
Election Day Poll Tending. Tues - Nov 3rd - 6:30am to 7:30pm (in shifts)
A few others outreach efforts:
We’re trying to get a letter writing campaign going so we’re asking anyone who is willing to write letters to local papers & submit them online. If you can write an e-mail, then you can write & submit a letter online! Let the community know why you’re supporting this campaign!
We’re also trying to increase outreach on facebook & awareness of early voting. Please consider making this your profile picture for the day of our rally on the first day of early voting on Oct 19th or if you’re willing leave it up for the duration of early voting until Oct 31st. Early voting is so important, especially for student outreach, & especially in a "college town" like Chapel Hill, and we don't plan to let any student vote go unturned!
This certainly isn't a comprehensive list of campaign events (check out the official campaign website calendar for those), but it should be enough information to help you figure out if you want to help and how you can help. If you have any questions feel free to post here, or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or if you have other campaign questions for Mark, the campaign website has an "e-mail the campaign" function).
Mark Kleinschmidt for Mayor