A blogger running for office? Y’up
Reflection on three-and-half years
Three and half years ago MyWHaT was launched. It was created to fill a vacuum of public discussion, accountability, urgency, and exploration of local issues (mainly Traverse City) for a wider network than what is typically represented at City meetings. The blog has had its moments of strong opinion, and I’d like to believe that opinions were informed, fair, and on-point. Myself, other contributors, and commentators I believe all share one thing in common–we see value in open, civil dialogue aimed at maintaining and improving a high quality of life locally and globally. For me, that’s what we’ve tried to make this endeavor about.
For me, producing and editing MyWHaT has connected me with dozens of inspiring and caring people–many of whom have commented that they look to the blog for relevant information and perspective. Some have expressed that the blog inspired them to become more engaged with how their community operates and functions. Some have volunteered. Others have contemplated new habits. I like to think a few readers have been inspired to walk more.
Thank you for being part of it. With your help, I’ve learned. And learned. And learned some more.
Part of being a vocal advocate in the community was the need to back it up–to engage and represent at the Governmental Center on issues that matter and needed a voice. While running this blog I’ve been part of the Parks and Recreation Commission during a time when it was more active and effective then it typically has been. After chairing that commission for a year, I transitioned onto the Planning Commission where I now serve.
Over this time I’ve also served on subcommittees ranging from the Parking and Access Committee of the DDA, the Division Street Steering Committee, the planning committee for the Bayfront Project, the Transportation Elements Committee, and, currently, the Active Transportation Committee. I’ve also been very active with the local Complete Streets Coalition as we change the discussion from designing a community prioritized for automobiles to one focused on people and place as priority. I co-created two public service announcements now airing on TV 7&4.
The new page, as some readers may know, is that I’m running for City Commission.
Traverse City has three openings this fall and I feel my experience and perspective will serve the City and Community well. In the next few weeks I will be creating a campaign website and blog to carry on the conversation started here on MyWHaT. MyWHaT will remain live and I will post material from Creative Commons on trends in public space, livable streets, and other interesting notes. I’d also be happy to host guest contributions from aspiring content providers–let me know.
That’s it. A rambling reflection/announcement. When the new site is up–I’ll let you know. There’s a Facebook Page (GaryHowe for TC) and, of course, a Twitter feed (official campaign hash-tag: #GH4TC).
And, no campaign is complete without the opportunity for supporters to help win the election, get the name out, and spread a message. I’d greatly appreciate support from MyWHaT readers. On average, the blog gets about 300 readers per day. If each of those readers could donate $10, the campaign would be off and running to a magnificent start. Please consider donating, at a level that you’re able, at Rally.org/GaryHoweforTC:
(Rally is a Kickstarter for campaigns).
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are that of the author and do not represent the opinions of writers previously published here or any of the organizations, committees, commissions or other affiliation the authors may belong to, unless so stated.