c[space candidates forum: birth of the “Esrati rule”


Candidates night at c[space hosted by upDayton and the League of Women Voters. Candidates from left to right, Gary Leitzell, Rhine McLin, Nan Whaley, Joey D. Williams and David Esrati.

A few thoughts:

  • Good lighting makes for better video.
  • Don’t expect candidates to speak from their seat when there is a HUGE POLE in front of them. Podiums, or a single mic work best.
  • Combining questions into mega-questions by combining them, makes it easier for politicians to pick and choose answers
  • Don’t use a 1 hour Flip Cam when it goes over an hour (and don’t try to record the levy people first).

So, the end is cut off- I took out my iPhone and made an audio recording of the end.

There is a bit of a gap.


Thanks to Gary Leppela for running a tight ship and announcing each speaker- which saved me subtitling.

Why don’t all the other candidates supply video for you? Why didn’t upDayton make their own? Why am I the candidate and the news team- all in one? Is it because I’m the only one who believes in democracy and an informed electorate. This is one of the best examples of what to expect if you elect me. No more secret meetings.

It was nice to see that my moving around- and standing behind the “team” spooked them enough to ask the League of Women voters to change the rules- as you can see by the instructions handed out last night at Ruskin School.

The "Esrati rule" for candidates forums

The "Esrati rule" for candidates forums

Sorry it took so long to post- still figuring out the best workflow for the Flip Cam to Youtube. That the lighting was horrible made for some bad compression artifacts, bringing Final Cut Pro to it’s knees.

UPDATE 9 oct 09: upDayton posted their video:

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7 Responses

  1. Janis James October 7, 2009 / 10:12 am
    Mr. Esrati,
    No candidate requested that the rules be changed because of your behavior. The decision to modify where chandidates sit or stand during thier responses was a decision made solely by the League.
    Janis James
    League of Women Voters
    of the Greater Dayton Area
  2. Thomas Kohn October 7, 2009 / 7:05 pm
    I opened the video with a hope to see a well-develop plan for the city. The most insightful question and the summarized answers (from 37:50 through 47:00).

    How do you propose to grow downtown in the face of home foreclosures and budget shortfalls?
    What do you propose for parking?
    Williams: We have built a lot with street pavement, bridges, recreating excitement in Oregon District, Tech Town,worked hard on the BallPark Village. We have been successful in building infrastructure…that people will appreciate in the future.
    Esrati: Easy is parking, but cities are supposed to build roads and bridges. Dayton has slacked on providing services to every household. Parking …move people who have a big car to use a motorcycle or bicycle, for which five can park in the space for one car. The zoning codes are obsolete by modern standards.
    Leitzl: Raze the vacant buildings on the outskirts of town to allow more parking. Webster Street Market has a waiting list for vendors, and it can be expanded with marked spaces for entrepreneurs there. You can connect Webster Street to the Baseball Stadium, and encourage shopping and restaurants to develop there. Courthouse Square could be the site of a free stage, which can draw audiences for entertainment. The audiences will then encourage growth of businesses nearby.
    McLin: The home ownership center, Miami Valley Fair Housing. With ENSP money we are building new houses, refurbishing houses, and demolishing houses. Dayton has housing form the 1800s to 2000. We have an overstock. It’s important to take down houses, give green space, and get the land stock in line with the number of people we have. Bringing jobs downtown, there’s 4500 small businesses in the Dayton area. CareSource is a new building.
    Whaley: I will follow the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. New ideas have been developed: being bike friendly, new housing amenities. I’m listening, and waiting for the GDDP to come to us, and to work to do, given our budget restraints.
    None of the responses seems coherent. And it’s surprising if you consider this question to be key, to be expected. Now I realize that we really shouldn’t expect the glitz of a Presidential candidate, or the on-message smoothness of a pol seasoned in the Senate or Congress. But in most succinct summary, the candidates say
    “We’ve done a lot already. You’ll see sometime.” (Williams)
    “Dayton has done what a city is supposed to do. But I’ll ask the automobile culture to shift to neutral.” (Esrati)
    “Make a populist culture thrive between the venues, and business will follow.” (Leitzl)
    “Let’s get rid of the empty houses to make way for green space.” (McLin)
    “I’ll follow someone else’s plan, within the budget restraints.” (Whaley)
    Two minutes is no time to provide the how and when for any plan. But it is time enough to present the outline of a plan, if one exists. The closest we get to such planning is Whaley’s deference to the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, which I too support in its wide-ranging concerns. Which I too wonder where the tax base is to carry out its proposals.
    I for one am left sang-froid about these candidates.
  3. Allison October 7, 2009 / 7:43 pm
    “None of the responses seems coherent”. Agreed. It sounds like Sarah Palin asnwered those questions.
  4. Gene October 7, 2009 / 7:57 pm
    The whole thing is weak, and the candidates are not real important people (sorry David.) We need heavy hitters. We have people who were class presidents in 7th grade, big deal.

    We need people who make money, have money, understand what it means to grow, to gain, to eliminate. People who have been there, not the coffee house idealist who read up on cities like Portland and feel all romantic. Heck, that describes me and I sure the hell ain’t qualified to run for office.

    A former rich business leader (or current) with a lot of connections and a radical, way way way out-side-the-box, to the hell with the free loaders leader. A no nonsense guy who tells it like it is and is not afraid to step on some toes. We don’t need the “would not it be great if we had a city newspaper with coffee shops and boutiques and bikers coming and going………”  – Things like that happen on their own when big problems are solved, like attracting big business to Dayton, developing the Central Business District and move toward some industries that other cities neglect or can not/will not handle. But we will vote for the “stroll to the ball park, lets bike to the art museum” loser mentality. THINK BIG. REAL BIG.

  5. David Esrati October 7, 2009 / 8:00 pm

    @Thomas- thanks for doing some transcription.
    It would have been better to ask single questions instead of combo questions to get similar answers.
    You need to read my plan- above, http://www.esrati.com/plan to understand better. However, you missed the “walk to work tax credit” as a solution for solving some of the car problems- as well as bcycle and a new look at single room occupancy zoning and provisions for co-op housing. There are answers- it’s just the 2 minute drill isn’t going to get answers.
    Try commenting and getting feedback on the other candidates sites.
    Hmmmm…. can’t do that, can you.

  6. David Esrati October 9, 2009 / 9:19 am

    Added the upDayton video to the post

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