I’ve been to more public meetings than most. For the most part- they suck. Forums aren’t forums, Q&A is random, some moderators have no clue how to run a meeting- and a lot of people like to talk too much- myself included.
I try to get out and video as many as possible that I think may be interesting and share them with you. Good idea number one if you are going to hold a forum- have someone video it and post to YouTube.
Good ideas number 2-5:
Have a podium and a microphone- with your organization on the podium (just like the Presidential Press Secretary) it answers a question- and it makes it easy for a set and forget camera.
Have a moderator who always REPEATS and focuses the question and directs who should answer. If multiple people will answer- have a strict timer.
Have set questions in advance- that are given to the panel, and the audience in advance. This isn’t 60 minutes gotcha- this is a forum- where people are trying to learn and understand and discuss.
Provide a backgrouder- a synopsis of the issue, with key points, reference links, opposing views- prime the pump. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on.
All that said- also, make sure you don’t do what happened here- make sure everyone knows what time it starts, stops and what’s expected. Also- don’t make everyone sit through the whole thing- have a schedule, bring speakers in at designated times and be respectful of their time.
The issue was “Economic development” – and particularly the West Side. I have my own views on this- skip forward to 1:18
From their Facebook page:
Dayton Unit NAACP Educates Citizens About The
Economic Development Environment In Dayton
On Monday, August 25, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the Dayton Boys Preparatory Academy, the Dayton Unit NAACP will hold its monthly community meeting entitled, “Economic Development Environment In Dayton.” The distinguished guest panelists will be Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton; Catherine Crosby, executive director of the Dayton Human Relations Council; Richard L. Wright, executive director of Parity Inc.; John A. Lumpkin, vice president of wealth management and financial advisor for Morgan Stanley; and Silvia Anderson, manager of workforce services for OhioMeansJobs in Montgomery County. The moderator will be Chris Shaw, chair of the Dayton Unit NAACP Economic Development Committee.
“The Dayton Unit NAACP is highly concerned about the lack of Employment Opportunities to include City, County and State Highway Construction Jobs; Small Business Development to include Retail Outlets, Restaurants and Service Facilities; and the lack of Franchise Businesses which are so prevalent in other areas of the Region, said Derrick L. Foward, president of the Dayton Unit NAACP. “We look forward to hearing the great things these leaders are accomplishing from an Economic Development standpoint in Dayton proper,” said Foward. “The citizens of Dayton are counting on you in a BIG way to enhance their quality of life.”
“The Economic Development Committee is concerned about jobs, business development and wealth building,” said Shaw. “While we know issues and opportunities exist, by bringing together community stakeholders, we will be able to update the residents of Dayton on collaborative efforts to further these goals. We look forward to community participation,” said Shaw.
There were about 50 people in attendance. At the end- I was asked to take a photo of everyone with their hands in the air- “hands up don’t shoot” for their FB page. Good to know I’m good for something.
The pre-election campaign finance reports were due today. I’m happy to say I turned mine in on time. A mere 9 pages. Compare that to the 43-page book turned in by the Whaley campaign and you’ll start to understand.
I’m losing respect for Sherrod Brown too. As if she is facing a real threat to democracy in AJ? C’mon.
I’m $200 away from reaching my goal of $10,000. She got more $10K checks from unions- and lots of $1.000.00+ checks from the, well, the people with the money- and the people who do business in the area. She also got money in big chunks from people who live far away from here. I’ve OCR’d her report- straightened the pages- and made it easy for you to review. I don’t even care to really comment. Nan Whaley PreGeneral 2013 report PDF
Williams, Mims- both raised more money than I did. They also spent more than I did. Somehow, buying food, wine, a lot of ads in programs, donating to other campaigns, donating to churches- is expensive. They didn’t hang any basketball nets, or clear any basketball courts. They didn’t hang three new rims at Princeton Rec- and really- they didn’t say a whole lot on the campaign trail.
My biggest individual donations were $500. My average donation was $66.22
I had 3 fundraisers. I spent almost all my money locally. I did my own design, a lot of my own web work, didn’t pay any staff. Didn’t buy anybody lunch. I knocked on a lot of doors myself. I videotaped all the events- and posted them online. I helped David Greer, Gary Leitzell, Hazel Rountree with campaign materials and with websites.
I started up the www.hoopsdayton.org site that I hope to grow into a place to run basketball leagues and coordinate tournaments in the future. For now- it’s working as a great website for a lot of independent Dayton Businesses- barber shops, who didn’t have websites- but, are now being found in Google. I had 2 DPS kids as interns this summer- and they made an amazing video about the hoops initiative. If I lose, I think our city still won. If I win- I know it’s because I did the right thing and never sold out.
Tonight I was at one of the most interesting and informative candidates’ events ever- run by Preservation Dayton. I’ll have video up on Saturday if all goes well.
I’m incredibly tired, and still need help with distributing literature and working the polls. I’d like to thank all those who donated- and those who’ve helped. But- the biggest thanks is to those who’ve hollered out of cars- “thanks for putting up nets, we’re voting for you” or to the kids who’ve thanked me on the courts. Your thanks meant the world to me. I’ve run a bunch of times over the last 20 years- and never have I been thanked so many times.
I’ve been asking friends, supporters and people who know me to do testimonials. Here’s one from UD Women’s basketball coach, Jim Jabir- it’s short. It’s not your normal endorsement- but, I think people stopped expecting normal from me long ago.
I’ve taken the cover pages of all Whaley’s reports- 2012 annual to present. Despite having a huge war chest on hand- it shows she’s raised in cash $389,119 and spent $276,106.32 which if you subtract one from the other leaves $113,013 – That’s a lot to spend in 10 days. Here is the file: Whaley total pre gen PDF
As long as I’ve been running for office, people in hushed voices have said, “That’s Esrati, he’s crazy.” Donning a black hood at a city commission meeting and getting arrested didn’t help dispel that notion. The fact that I don’t quit- running time after time, you know that quote they attribute to Albert Einstein “doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, that’s the definition of insanity” – and they apply it to me as justification for writing me off as, well, crazy.
So, because 9 out of 10 candidates, in my experience, don’t say anything interesting, or even remotely worth hearing- I decided to confront my reputation head on- and tell the voters, yep- I’m crazy. Watch this and see if you agree (I included the question for the commission candidates- as well as a woman trying to refocus the question after the other 3 tried to redirect the blame).
If you want to know the truth, really, the voters are the crazy ones- they keep voting for the same people who give them the results that they aren’t happy with. Until they realize that in order to spend $260,000 to get 5,000 votes in the primary, like Ms. Whaley has- you have to give something back to your donors. And, most Dayton voters should be smart enough to know that her money isn’t coming from the voters in this community.
I’m within $450 of my $10,000 goal. Please consider donating so I can totally concentrate on giving you the most bang for a campaign dollar the United States has ever seen. So far, I’ve hung over 250 basketball nets, 3 new rims at Princeton Rec Center, cleaned up broken glass and weeds on courts all over the city (including the ones yesterday with some help)
And if you really want to help “Crazy Esrati” get elected- volunteer- call me at 937-985-1312 and I’ll get some literature and a walk list for you to go talk to voters.
After the event, a bunch of people came up and told me they were voting for me. They wish there were more crazy people like me running for office, “’cause if you are crazy, I must be too.”
You can watch the un-crazy politicians, including AJ Wagner who referenced me at least 3 times in his opening speech here:
Just remember, only the crazy candidate makes sure you have every event to watch on YouTube, because he not only believes in open honest government, he actually walks the talk. Actions should speak louder than words.
If you see a basketball net with a bright green bottom, I hung it. If you see a rim without a net, or with a poor excuse for one- call 985-1312 and I’ll get one out and hung.
That’s the message that isn’t on my campaign literature. It’s what I’ve been doing since the beginning of June, hanging nets on what passes for rims and backboards in Dayton.
I had to spend over 4 hours pulling stink trees and other opportunistic weeds out of the three courts at the old Parkside homes. I’ve hung nets on rims with rust so bad one kid said “yeah, when you score you get rust in your eye.” I’ve seen rims with nets hung with knots, tape and even shoelaces. We’ve got rims missing hooks, rims built for chains, which never got replaced. Backboards are just as bad- rusty if made of metal, rotting if made of wood (seriously, who bought wood backboards for outdoors). One is recognized by all old-school players as having been eaten up for years- it looks like a dragon bit the bottom off.
To pay for the nets- I’ve been using campaign funds and asking donations from the ultimate local business: barber shops and beauty salons. I go in, tell them what I’m doing – show them my posters- and ask them to sponsor a net. Most sponsor more than pne. I take a picture of them with the poster- put it online and hang the poster in the shop. Check out the pix at www.hoopsdayton.org My donations come from the community, not from DC or Columbus or the ‘burbs, but from the people who live and work here. I’m just as happy to accept $2 as $200, which is what a box of 100 nets costs me at Tuffy Brooks. That’s the crazy thing- nets actually cost less than yard signs. I’d much rather put up a net and do something positive in the community than place a yard sign. It takes a lot more effort to hang a net too- between hauling the ladder (I’ve had to hike it across a few football fields to get to some courts- like Western Hills) and doing court cleanups.
The support has been fantastic at many levels. But the real question is how come our city, which always has a million bucks for a developer, or a tax break for the world’s richest companies- can’t keep nets on rims? Or take care of the courts? Just yesterday, the City Manager rolled the convention center into the department of Parks and Rec- calling it one of the “entrepreneurial departments.” Really? He wants to make money off providing parks and rec? This is the kind of thinking in City Hall that makes me run. Having nice parks is economic development in my book- as are safe streets and neighborhoods. Not by having buildings like Tech Town that sit mostly empty and compete with private developers.
One of the series of posters I’ve been asking for sponsorship for.
As one of my posters says “Next time a politician asks for your backing, ask them about our backboards.” Joey Williams, a former Dunbar basketball star has been on the commission for 12 years- with at least 2 supporting votes the entire time. Apparently, rusty backboards and rims, cracks in the courts, and not turning on the water in parks like Hickorydale is OK with him- as long as we have nice privately developed student housing for students at Sinclair.
I think not. If you’d like to help, please donate at www.electesrati.com/donate-2 After I hit my cap of $10,000, all money will go into a fund to start buying new backboards and rims and getting them up. I’ll need help from someone who knows how to weld when that time comes.
If you see a rim that needs a new net call 937-985-1312
If you’d like to change our city’s focus on what constitutes “economic development” and believe it should be “Parks and Rec” – not “Parks are a wreck” please volunteer for the campaign.
Yesterday morning I arrived at the WDTN studios at 8 a.m. for an interview that was slated for 8:20. But, in the topsy turvy world of TV news, I was being bumped to 8:06 and rushed into the studio. My interviewer, Dan Edwards, who’s been on TV longer than I’ve been running for office (that means more than 20 years), had to run to the newsroom to do a live from the newsroom report- and then had to rush back to the studio for us to go live at the big news desk.
As Dan started to read the teleprompter, I saw it as it was too late to fix, he introduced me as Dayton Mayoral Candidate, David Esrati. I politely corrected him, and we moved on with the interview, which consisted of the best four questions and follow ups I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t bother to record it, because all of this video typically ends up online, and I would just build a link to the video and they’d get a lot of traffic, and they’d get their advertising revenue.
update 9:18 am behind us was this big banner that said Dayton Mayoral Run
Only problem, WDTN doesn’t like their mistakes to be on the Internet forever. Kind of blows their “News you can Trust” positioning. It could be because of the error on air, or that they had only planned on interviewing the mayoral candidates and didn’t want to give all 8 candidates for city commission air time. I offered to run back and do the intro over, to help them, but, no, it’s censored.
Now of course, the video becomes a novelty, a naughty no-no. Which would drive the views up even higher. But, more than likely, it will be me posting it. So, do any of you record the CW, ch 26 WBDT on your DVR or even VHS? I’d like to get that video online. Of course, there are still news clipping services that record all the local stations in the hope that something like this happens, and they sell the footage, which I’d hate to waste precious campaign money on, but…
I don’t blame Dan for the mistake, these things happen. I thank him for allowing me access to the broadcast airwaves without having to spend a fortune like the big money candidates will, but, censorship is so, well, Chinese dude.
The idea of starting The Next Wave really began the year I graduated from Wright State- it was 1988, and I knew there wasn’t an ad agency in Dayton doing the kind of work I wanted to do. Most people would have moved to New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Minneapolis or Portland OR, but, instead, I tried to move them here.
It took 2 years to get 100 Bonner transformed from the $2,200 boarded-up disaster into the building it is today, and in March of 1990, I had a Mac SE-30 with 4mb of RAM and a 20 MB hard drive, a Laserwriter II and no clients. I rented out part of my office to John Walker, former co-worker at Graphica, who is an amazingly talented graphic designer. We had separate businesses but worked together a lot. I sold, wrote, and marketed, he designed with markers and tissue paper and then I’d do production on a black and white screen of color projects.
My first employee was Jeanne Destro. You may remember her as DJ on WVUD, Magic104, WTUE. She introduced me to George Wymer who taught me everything I needed to know about buying radio. We did work for the Dayton Dynamo- and I remember sitting in a closet at WTUE with a very young Jim Hausfeld who helped us create cassette tapes of cuts of music to play in breaks- things like “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” by AC/DC. Hausfeld went on to the head of commercial production for all of Clear Channel only recently leaving there to become a creative director at The Ohlman Group.
There are a ton of other people who helped my company grow. But there was one thing I learned before I got my first job in the field was that while a lot of people would interview me, only one gave me a chance in the business- Larry Holland, and that was only after five months of me pestering him. Larry ran Graphica, a company that formed by siphoning off half the team and half the clients from Wanamaker Advertising Arts. In the ad business this is typically how new firms start up- stealing accounts and talent and setting up a new shop. It was something I swore I’d never do. Even though Larry fired me after a few months after I’d rubbed one of his partners the wrong way after getting them into Mead Data Central (a client they continued to do work for – including the re-branding to LexisNexis) he remained a friend and mentor all the way up until his premature death about 14 years ago.
I promised myself to give young kids a chance at my place. I’ve never refused to review a portfolio, speak to students, offer assistance. I’ve had probably 20 interns that got their start in the business at The Next Wave, and I’ve also probably given as many their first job. In an attempt to share with you the parts of me that you won’t read about in the paper, or get from reading this blog, I asked for people who knew me to volunteer to tell their story. I’ve already posted Brad Proctor’s and Stacy Thompson’s testimonials. This post is about starting the career of Alan Dickinson, a young man who came to me to intern and now works for Frog Design at their NYC office. He was the first to step up to tape, but it took us a little longer since we had to wait for some footage from NYC.
While lots of politicians talk about job creation, I’ve actually been creating careers since starting my own. Here’s the story of one of them:
Alan came to me as a 16 year old kid at Vandalia Butler. Normally, you only get a job in an ad agency at that age if your parents own it. He brought a painting he did at 12 that was better than somethings I’ve seen hanging on gallery walls, and a hand crafted box that he’d created to give something to his girlfriend Katie. I gave him a chance. Here is what he had to say about it:
To add a few personal things about me that you might not know:
I grew up in a house that was built in Cleveland as a prototype for the 1939 New York World’s Fair by an architect, Harold Burdick. It was built using the modern materials of the day- steel frame, plywood, glass block and was sponsored by GE as the “all electric house.” Reportedly it had the first two fluorescent lights in a residence. We had a lot of Lumiline light fixtures to illuminate the glass block bays. When my parents bought it in 1971 it was a mess- the glass block was mostly broken due to the steel rusting and expanding, crushing the block- they restored it and had it placed on the National Register of Historic places.
I was the first junior to ever be named photo-editor of my high school’s yearbook. I spent 11th grade taking more pictures than notes and had to work extra hard my senior year just to have enough credits to graduate. I built my own darkroom in the “wine cellar” of the house and shot over 200 rolls of film that year. I still love to take pictures.
A friend of my father’s, David Bensman, was a “Big Brother” to several kids as I grew up. He was one of my favorite people, he always had a sense of humor and liked to talk with all kinds of funny accents. He worked as a ceramics engineer of some sort at Ferro in Cleveland, coming up with coatings for your stove or refrigerator. When I was in high school I became friends with one of his “littles” and realized how much of an impact Dave had made on this young man. He was my inspiration to do the same when I got to Dayton. For the last 24 years, I’ve been following in his footsteps. Unfortunately, Bensman was shot to death in a home invasion around 15 years ago. I still think of him often and miss him.
I stopped by the Occupy Dayton HQ tonight to see “While we Watch” a 40-minute film about the news media and the power of citizen journalists.
I heard an unattibuted quote that I really liked: “If it can be destroyed by the truth it should be” and with a quick search it turns out the exact quote is “That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be” – P. C. Hodgell
In many ways, it strikes me as the reason I began this site: to try to undo the damage done to my reputation by the Dayton Daily News editorial board and the DDN coverage of my activism. I needed to counter the mailings of the madman who had people believing that I had nothing better to do than send wacko mail to people in power for years. And I needed to expose the behind-closed-door workings of this community. This site is well read- especially by the people who have been doing those back-room deals. It’s taken a long time, but finally people are starting to understand who I am and what I stand for- straight from my site, without the distortion filter the media uses to distract us from the truth.
There are still a lot of people who hear my name and instantly hang up the phone. I know, because my 84 year old mother has been calling voters about the campaign for the last 2 weeks and has heard it all. She marches on.
I put out a call for people to “testify” about the real David Esrati. A few have stepped up. The best known and bravest (and also the one who received more votes than the Mayor, Nan or Joey in the last commission election I was allowed to participate in) is Dayton Board of Education member Stacy Thompson. As an “endorsed Democrat” she’s taking a risk and pushing the envelope and inviting the wrath of our insular party.
In my eyes, this makes her the bravest elected representative in the region. (By the way, both Stacy and Brad Proctor did their videos in one take, no edits)
Thank you Stacy. We will see if the truth does any damage.
Would anyone else like to share their thoughts on camera?
The website “Watching the House” posted today praising my grassroots campaign to inform the voters of OH-10 of what’s going on with their candidates. While the major media has ignored this race (the lone exception is the Washington Courthouse Record Herald) I’ve done my best to keep you informed. Here is my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/electesrati it has 43 videos right now- and more are being uploaded as I write.
Here is what “watching the House” said:
Ohio activist and Congressional candidate David Esrati doesn’t just post his campaign videos and public speeches, he also films all of his competitors‘ speeches fairly and uploads them for a worldwide audience.
that’s 32 videos in the last 3 weeks, and more to come on Thursday after the Valentine’s Beavercreek Chamber event. this is no trivial event given that 2 weeks ago, most candidates didn’t even have websites, and upstart candidate and pizza delivery guy Ryan Steele still has not provided so much as an email address. Even the candidate Esrati most often clashes with, Sharen Neuhardt, has more easily-accessible video available than most candidates in the entire nation.
Thus far, Watching the House has gathered information on 120 congressional districts in 11 states* and has carefully charted every candidate in the 4 states holding March primaries (45 districts in OH, AL, MS, and IL). no district compares to Ohio’s 10th in the wealth of information publicly available.
It is largely due to the diligent work of David Esrati. in many districts (especially rural districts), candidates have much less internet exposure. it is also in those districts, at least in Ohio, where incumbents appear primed for walk-over victories.
When Gil Scott-Heron said “The revolution will not be televised” he was correct- but, it will be on YouTube. I can guarantee you that.
As to Sharen Neuhardt having video– it’s left-overs from her last campaign- where she spent three quarters of a million dollars. Unfortunately, her video looks dime store. Here is one of her top viewed videos:
What we really need is substance, instead of these three minute and five minute speeches. Real debates, real positions. It’s unfortunate that in making campaigning “politically correct” we’ve taken the politics out.
On the campaign trail, I’ve only had one chance to ask a question of Ms. Neuhardt, you can judge how she answered it:
If you only read the Dayton Daily News of old about me, or caught me on broadcast TV you would probably think of me a lot differently than the people who know me. I am my father’s son- people either love me or hate me, there isn’t really a middle ground. Agent provocateur, insurgent, linchpin, rabble rouser, harbinger of the revolution or jerk, gadfly, idiot, dufus, moron have all been thrown my way at one point or another.
For years, it didn’t help that someone, for almost 10 years, was anonymously sending out really bizarre letters all over town to people in high places and putting my name and return address on them. I posted about what I called the “Wacko Mail” after a hometown (Celina- in case you didn’t know) girl told me I was the wacko who was sending her boss mail (she worked for the Downtown Dayton Partnership). The author was finally caught and promised never to do it again, but, considering many people used to think I was the author the damage had been done.
Brad Proctor tells the story of how we first met- when I was going door-to-door campaigning in my first run- for mayor- in the race where Turner and I first crossed paths. Ironically, his friend Mark Shaver- was the city inspector who caused me to have my first run-in with the city over my garage doors in the historic district. There is one correction- I’ve only run for mayor one time, the rest of my runs were for commission and congress.
Brad does share that being honest in Dayton, publishing this blog, questioning those in power is detrimental/dangerous to my livelihood. My political speech has gotten me arrested, turned friends against me when I’ve questioned their meal tickets, polarized people and made the prospect of working with my firm considered riskier, no matter how good the work we produce or how competitively we do it. Those of you who have trusted me and my firm (The Next Wave) and taken the risk, I am indebted and grateful. And to Brad, who just left his job at Tech Town where he has been working without pay for the last year in order to keep paying his staff of two who were let go in January, I am also grateful for your candid speech on my behalf.
I’ll have a few more of these to post before the primary. We’re still looking to do more, so if you are interested in talking about how I, or how this site, esrati.com, has impacted your life, or the community, we’ll be happy to come out and film you.
And, just for kicks I thought I’d add a few personal things about me that you may not know to each of these:
I don’t drink alcohol, coffee or tea. My favorite indulgence drinks are Virgils Root Beer (made with real cane sugar), Orange Julius, and Chocolate malts on rare occasion.
I still play ice hockey- defense, in the Huff-N-Puff league at the Kettering Rec. It’s a 30 and over, no checking, recreational league. PizzaBill who comments here, was the one who got me to strap back on the skates about ten years ago, for which I’m very thankful.
My first job was working at a small family owned “Stereo” store- when I was 12. I began working there because I played the sax and needed a way to play cassette tapes from my sax teacher, the very talented Art Blazer. I don’t play my sax very often anymore, but I love music and have a pretty big record collection (yep vinyl) of mostly jazz and blues, but I also love Motown. Favorite artists outside of jazz and blues are Buckwheat Zydeco (who I became friends with when we swapped building his first website in exchange for using some of his music for the South Park Soliloquy video I did for the neighborhood) J. Geils Band, Steve Winwood, James Brown, Joe Jackson, Seal, Lenny Kravitz, Macy Gray, Joss Stone, the Beastie Boys (instrumental only), Erika Badu, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Dread Zeppelin.