When I campaign, I put a lot of emphasis on personal contact, meeting as many residents as I can and talking to them about their issues.
When you’re talking to somebody at their doorstep, you don’t get a lot of negativity. What you do get is a lot of very good questions.
You hear what’s happening in their lives, on their streets and in their neighbourhoods. And it’s unfiltered. It’s extremely valuable for any elected official to get a heavy dose of that.
I like to say I’m an active campaigner. I want to be on the street every day, anywhere from four to seven hours, knocking on as many doors as I can.
One new wrinkle is the way we’re getting around this year. I’m using an electric scooter and some of my team members are riding bicycles. It allows you get to a lot more houses and meet a lot more people. It also saves your back and legs, which can take a real pounding during a campaign.
I’m finding some other differences compared to my first mayoralty campaign in 2018.
The last election, I spent a lot of time explaining who I was, my goals for the city and so on. This time, most of the people already know who I am, and they want to talk issues.
That means I’m doing a lot less talking and a lot more listening. When you’re the incumbent, voters mention issues that concern them because they want an informative answer or some action.
Recently we’ve been canvassing on main streets, so some of the big issues with these residents are speeding, vehicle noise and traffic safety.
I’m hearing about a lot of other issues too: drug addiction, homelessness, the cost of housing, the economy, transportation and growth.
So that’s why I’m starting this blog. Over the course of the election, I’ll be talking about these issues and more. I’ll discuss what we’ve been doing about them over the last term of council, and where we’re going.
In a city of 100,000 it’s not possible to talk to every voter, even if you have a scooter. But I hope this blog will involve more people in the conversation.