I never made it through “How to win friends and influence people”- I found the writing style plodding. But according to one woman at Wayman AME on Hoover Ave, she hopes I never come back to Wayman, and I’m not very intelligent (which I clarified by asking her if she was calling me stupid? With which she said yes). I’m disrespectful, for coming into “her house” and “disrespecting her brother” (I take that to mean Joey Williams, who is a member of Wayman). All this was an interjection as I was getting schooled in marketing, for not spending enough time telling the congregation (whom I’ve addressed every time I’ve run for the last 20 years) what I was for, vs. what I saw as problems.
Damn, I’m confused. I always thought that if you lied in church you’d be struck by lightning.
This was the first place I was told that I couldn’t videotape the activities. John Lawson of the Linden Center was in charge of video and promised me he’d share. I almost had him let me tape when I told him my camera was bigger than his (I bring a pro rig out, he had a pocket camera). Had he let me record, the card wouldn’t have filled up and stopped half way through question and answer, but, that’s another story. I can’t show you my “disrespect” for you to judge, but hopefully he’ll put the video up soon.
So, what did I ask? I asked the people to believe me now, 20 years after I started, to trust me when I tell them that I’m not naive anymore, and I understand how things are done in Dayton. That if this city ran fair elections, William Pace would be up here too, and that the decisions of who gets to run isn’t up to the people, but a party that I belong to, but can’t agree with their methodology- one of patronage and favoritism.
I also said that no matter what anyone tells them, it takes three votes to make a change. That Nan Whaley and Joey Williams have had 2 other votes their entire time in office, and if they couldn’t do it then, what can they do now? That Gary Leitzell has been working as a team of 1 against a gang of 4. It takes three votes for a change.
I made the analogy of Dayton as a restaurant. Either your food and service are great, or people stop coming. Instead, Dayton tries to be Wal-Mart, that has a food stand- but also sells everything else. We need to stick to delivery of fundamental services and do it well. We need to offer things that no one else does, or no one will come and fix up the houses that are decaying faster than Nan can hand out demolition permits to her donors (I actually didn’t point the finger at Nan- or enunciate this as clearly).
Yes, I know, talking about how where you grew up, or where your kids went to school has served Jeff Mims well. He’s been elected over and over. But one woman, from Jefferson Township did ask if he wins a seat on the commission, will he still serve on the State School Board and he told her that he’d have to resign that seat to be on the commission. Finally- someone realized that Jeff isn’t living up to his last campaign promises, and yet he’s up here making new ones.
I did see some heads nodding along, some people get it when I say we have gang problems because we don’t have nets on rims on basketball courts, or neighborhoods that are connected by a common school. But, to answer these questions in a minute is like trying to summarize the Bible- in a hundred words or less. These candidates’ forums aren’t really forums at all- they are more like speed dating, where the fact that you are an axe murderer isn’t as important as that you smell good and smile a lot.
The woman who dressed me down, wouldn’t back down, and neither would I. She took it as a point of pride that she could tell me off and call me stupid, while not wearing a name tag or putting her name on the ballot. It’s easy to be a bystander, it’s easy to boo, it’s easy to stand on the sidelines.
The hardest thing to do in this town is to tell the truth.