Why my picture isn’t prominently on my site

If you look at the competition sites: www.joeydwilliams.com and www.nanwhaley.com you’ll see their pictures prominently displayed. If you look at their literature, their picture is prominently displayed. If you watch Nan’s videos- she’s in them (with a creepy voice over talking about what she’ll do, as if she can’t speak for herself).

Here, you have to hunt for my picture.


Because, in a city where election maps split down the center of town based on race, I don’t want to be a part of that. Granted, the likelihood of me being an African American with the name “Esrati” is pretty slim (although most people are confused about its origin and make bad assumptions) so I can’t totally avoid it. The reality is, we don’t put our pictures on the ballot (yet, thank you) and if you haven’t heard my name from me or my campaign helpers knocking on the door- or remember it from the news, or saw some chalk on a walk, or a sign in a yard- I’ve not done my job.

Of course, I’ve had to do this all on a shoestring budget because I wouldn’t dare accept a $5K donation to my campaign (if you have that much money- find a real charity).

Politics isn’t about kissing babies, shaking hands, and smiling for the camera- at least it shouldn’t be. It should be about debate, discussion, compromise and civic duty. It should be about doing what’s best for the people- not the people who fill campaign war chests. Win or lose Tuesday- I’ll know that I tried to run an honest campaign- based on ideas for our future.

It’s up to my readers to tell their friends, and their friends to tell their friends- that there is substance here, not just a pretty picture.

Vote yes on Library levy issue 40

My parents get to do something I dream of: they read three to four books per week. They go to the library at least once a week, and have as long as I’ve been around. They were worried when leaving Cleveland for Dayton- having become accustomed to what they thought was an excellent library system.

They’ve found a better one. They’ve been amazed at how good our system is, for books, movies, reservations, inter-library loans and the quality of service.

Right now, with tough economic times, the importance of the library system is even greater than normal. Job seekers are using the computers to find work and to learn new skills. Our kids need access to books, to places to do research- and not just the kind you can do on Google. Libraries are critical to an informed and educated electorate which is the foundation of a democracy.

If we let our libraries fail, we won’t be seeing them come back. It’s not an option. The Dayton Metro library system is well managed and relatively efficient. State cuts have hurt them deeply. It’s up to you and me to do our part- vote yes on issue 40.

The fact that you’re reading this, says you value the values of the written word. Do the right thing.

Metroparks Levy, Issue 4, Vote yes

There is only one shining example of regional governance in Dayton Ohio- it’s our Metroparks system. For years, it was a sleepy organization with nature preserves. Now, it’s an economic development powerhouse, providing the kinds of outdoor activities and places to do things that make Dayton a great place to live.

If you haven’t been to Wegeryzn Gardens, or Cox Arboretum- or heard about the new MOBA mountain bike facility- you aren’t really experiencing what we have to offer in Dayton thanks to this wonderful, cooperative system.

It’s well run, it’s an awesome asset, and it deserves your support. If all of our City ran this well, or was this efficient, we’d have businesses beating a path to Dayton to grow their businesses here.

I’m voting yes on Issue 4, and you should too.

Vote no on Issue 3. For a whole lot of reasons

I’ve already written why Issue 3 is a bad idea. Never mind that Montgomery County Democratic Party thinks it’s a good idea because they got money from the Casino backers to tell you to vote yes.

It creates a monopoly- with no competitive bidding- for 2 organizations in 4 locations. How big of a monopoly? It even bans churches and softball leagues from playing blackjack at a fish fry:

Require that casino gaming be conducted only by authorized casino operators of these four casino facilities or by licensed management companies retained by such casino operators.

via http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/upload/ballotboard/2009/3-text.pdf

via Issue 3 bans fish frys..

Gambling is a pretty bad bet to begin with. However, I’m at a point of frustration with every state around us offering it. We need to save our gamblers their gas money- and have them in Ohio, but only with a true competitive bid situation- like the bill that’s being introduced for next year if this doesn’t pass.

This amendment is a farce- going as far as to write specific pieces of property into the Constitution. Again- Amendments are special, they require a super-majority of 70% of the popular vote to change. This is bad legislation, written to hand over the keys to the candy store to two companies.

Vote no on Issue 3. You’ll get another chance soon enough to vote for something that’s more fair to you and will make our State more money.


Voting no on Issue 2- Livestock care standards board Amendment

There are lots of things Ohio should regulate, and take care of- but, a Constitutional Amendment to create another layer of bureaucracy to “protect livestock and poultry” is an insult to the people of the Great State of Ohio.

Constitutional Amendments are special. It takes a whopping 70% of the vote to overturn or amend them. They are supposed to be passed to stop politicians from mucking things about on a whim.

That’s exactly why big agri-business is hot to pass this as an amendment, as opposed to being handled by simple votes in the legislature. This could be done easily by a vote in the Statehouse- instead of asking the people of your house to do it for them.

Animal welfare is important, but, if you think a regulatory body added to the Constitution is going to help- just take a look at what good the Securities and Exchange Commission has done for you lately. Let’s worry about protecting people with a Constitutional Amendment, not chickens.

Surely our fine legislators in Columbus can craft something without a constitutional amendment. I’m voting no on Issue 2.