Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Facebook Update

Today we talk about last night's council meeting, leadership and vision for our future.  If you would like to keep up with things happening with our Brooklyn Park city council, at least from my perspective, "like" our page:


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New Facebook Page

If you're interested in keeping up with things happening in our city from my perspective, feel free to "like" my new Facebook page.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

District 33: Looking for a quality barber?

I don't know about you but I've been going to the same barber for 36 years.  36 years!  For most of that time a great barber by the name of Myron was the only person to do so since my mom cut my ear trimming my hair in our Robbinsdale garage.  A few years ago Myron retired and my hair was taken over by his business partner, Keith (who's been with this barber shop the entire 36 years).

This past Saturday we had an appointment for Keith to work his magic, such as it is with my less-than-stellar, thinning head of hair.  Dutifully we got up early and trekked down to Crystal to clean this mop up so I'd look half-way decent for the upcoming swearing in photos.  When we pulled up his red truck wasn't already in the parking lot - we knew something was wrong.  On the door was a sign stating Keith was sick and wouldn't return until today.

Today, Thursday, January 3rd, was too late.  No one wants the "fresh cut" look, it requires a few days of natural growth to make it look, well, natural.

What does a guy do who has had only two people cut their hair for 36 straight years?  This was a traumatic experience!  Panic set in.

I took to my Facebook friends and with the plea of a desperate man asked for advice, for recommendations.  They came from many - barbers from various parts of Brooklyn Park.  I've seen most of these and knew I just couldn't trust myself to just any barber, I needed someone special, someone who'd understand how difficult this entire episode was going to be for me.

Then a recommendation came from someone, a recommendation that surprised me because I'd never heard of this barber.  I had seen the building, but a barber shop named "District 33" didn't ring a bell.

"Call Dave from District 33, he'll take good care of you."  I looked up District 33 and there they were, on the corner of 101st and Jefferson Highway, in the old School House right on the west edge of Brooklyn Park.  I remember lit dropping there the night before election day but didn't recall seeing a barber shop.

So I called Dave and set off to have him take care of me. 

District 33 is in a very old school house that Dave bought in 1980.  This old, abandoned building was in very poor repair.  Dave and his wife bought it, moved it back about 50 feet and completely re-built the building.  Looking at pictures he had it was quite the change.  In the upper level, a house.  In the lower level, a fully operational barber and salon.

I told Dave the story as he got to cutting my hair.  He understood and did a great job.  The best thing was that he put this nervous old guy at ease.

Need a barber?  In a similar situation as I was?  I'd recommend Dave from District 33. He's a great barber and has great history in our city. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Transition: January 7th is Coming Fast

Over the past month it's been my pleasure to meet with all department directors at City Hall and their various locations, along with other members of our city staff.  Not that it was a secret, but we have some fabulous people running the various areas in our city. These people know their stuff and have a real heart for wanting to do what's right by our residents and council. 

With every meeting there was a robust discussion about their departments, along with the goals and ideas I've gained from meeting with our residents.  In addition to our main goals of "Good Jobs, Lower Crime and Better Image", we were able to talk about some big ideas, some visionary things that our current council has not had the time to discuss over the past few years.

January 7th is coming fast and I'm looking forward to serving the wonderful people of our city.  Some may not know how all of this has worked once an election takes place.  Immediately after the election the city put me on the delivery list for both council emails but also weekly packets (the full detailed packet of information each council member receives toward the end of every week).  I read them "cover to cover" to make sure I'm up to speed.  I think my wife thinks I'm sort of wonk because I enjoy it too much.

On the issues in those packets I'm usually up to speed on them already, having been involved in our city for several years.  Many on our council have been very gracious to me, allowing me to share my opinions on some of the items with them.  (Not that they all wouldn't be, I just haven't gone to all of them.)

Speaking of a gracious council...  I've had the pleasure of either speaking to or meeting with every council member.  I've known most of them for a while, save for two.  My coffee meeting with one of them was invigorating and encouraging that we'll be able to work together well.  We share similar family experiences (similar aged children, etc.) and other things.  It was a pleasure to get to know this council member for the first time and look forward to working closely together on a variety of issues facing our city.

As one reflects on life and it's experiences, and the plan God has for our lives, it's interesting to look back from where one is to see how things have happened for a reason.  Ten years ago I was a State Representative and then lost re-election.  Losing as an incumbent is very hard, both for the candidate and the family.  For that reason I said back then I wouldn't likely ever run again but, if I did, it would require permission from my entire family.

Over the past ten years I've stayed involved.  Sometimes from afar, sometimes as part of an organization or committee.  I fought and led some battles on behalf of residents, I've been a watchdog for our residents on issues and sometimes candidates, and learned a lot of things along the way.  Some of those lessons were hard and they shaped me in different ways than I expected.

In the end, 2012 was the right time and my family knew it.  As I door knocked I think the people saw that, too.  It is an honor and incredible privilege and will use those experiences and lessons to do the right thing for our city and the residents that make us what we are.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Positive Campaign Over: Time to Come Together for a Better Brooklyn Park

The campaign is over - thank goodness. :)   Below is what we've posted on our Facebook page and campaign website.   With a wonderful team behind me, we ran a 100% positive campaign about ideas and hope for our city.  Never once did we mention our opponents name as we campaigned, here, on our Facebook page, our website or in person.  Why?  Because we were determined, as a team and as a candidate, to make this the cleanest, most transparent, most idea-driven campaign in the history of our community.  Mission accomplished.

To the few detractors, and there's always a few, come join us for a better Brooklyn Park future.  Come join us for Good Jobs, Lower Crime and Better Image.  Come join us as we bring bold ideas and new innovations to our city.  The people of my district spoke - they want real change at City Hall and in their community.  Change, not for the sake of change, but for the betterment of their neighborhoods, their safety, their property values and the community as a whole.  Some have used the word "negative" and I say truth is not negative, facts needs to be faced head-on before we can fix the problems.  One can sit back and complain about perceived slights, or you can move forward and join the race to better our community.   Join us as we begin our journey to fix those problems and go forward into a future of more good jobs in our community, lower crime (not just statistics but where residents actually feel like they're safer), and an image changed.  This is an open invitation to friend or perceived foe (a position no one has to be), to anyone who wants a better Brooklyn Park - join us.  There's a large group of community leaders ready to do the big things, be part of it.  I am willing to work with anyone who has the same goals for our city.  My email is john@johnjordan.com.

My comments from earlier this morning:

It was a long, hard journey that began almost two years ago having lunch with my friend, Steve Lampi. Over the next year or so we assembled an incredibly diverse team of community leaders to join us. Frankly, a team unlike I’d ever seen in local politics. I am so thankful to them for their incredible help, we could not have done this without them.

Our victory is not about me or our team, it’s about the wonderful people of Brooklyn Park. It’s about Good Jobs, Lower Crime and Better Image – ideas and goals that will affect every resident of our city. I will spend this entire term working on improvements and innovations for those three important themes.

I want to thank my opponent for running a clean campaign. Other than this forum, I don’t have a way to communicate my heart-felt and sincere thoughts for him as one who recently lost his spouse. It’s something I cannot imagine. Rarely have we been on the same side of issues, but we have to remember that we were opponents, not enemies. I have no doubt he has always had the best interests of our community at heart.

The most important person I need to thank is my wife, Michelle. Since the last day of eight grade, when we first met, she has been my best friend through life. In this campaign she was with me – literally – every step of the way. As we “lit dropped”, she and I went to over 5000 doors ourselves, me on one side of the street, she on the other. Warm or cold, good weather or bad, she was with me every day. When I was discouraged, she was there for me. When I was tired but knew we had to keep going, she was there (and just as tired). This win could not have happened without her.

It’s time to get to work. The sleeves are rolled up and we’ve already been discussing ideas to bring forward next year when I’m sworn in. I’m not big on campaign “promises”, but I make this one: I will not be your average council member. I will not just show up to vote. Things will get done, changes are coming, and I will be bold, visionary and innovative in helping to make Brooklyn Park a better place for all of us.

Thank you to the people of Brooklyn Park for this honor. I will not let you down.

- John (11/07/12)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just Five More Days

Today is Thursday, November 1st - five days to Election Day.  Since our family meeting in December 2010 to now, twenty two months, we have planned, strategized, recruited volunteers, had several meetings, hundreds of phone calls, hundreds of doors knocked, thousands of homes "lit dropped", lost two notches in my belt and wore out my right knee (which is screaming for me to stop walking).

All of this started at lunch with my friend, Steve Lampi, following the 2010 election.  We actually talked about results right after every election since he became mayor a decade back.  Every year he'd ask me to consider running for city council and every year I'd decline, thanking him for asking.

But in 2010 something was different.  I'm really not sure what it was but there was something in me that said "consider it".  So when he asked me again to consider running my answer was different, it was "let me think about it".  He was a bit surprised but pleased.

A month later I held a family meeting in my son's room where we discussed the idea.  Running for office is hard, very hard work.  Not just for the candidate but also for the entire family.  It takes the candidate away from the family.  In my case, my beautiful bride Michelle has also been a very hard worker, going with me lit dropping every day.  So a decision for a family to give their blessing is an important one.

At that meeting my family gave their blessing, December of 2010, and I called Steve.  He and Kathy were my first contributors that month.  The next month he called me with the news of his cancer.

Like I said, I knew there was a reason I had to consider running this time over all the other times he asked.

My campaign is dedicated to the memory of my friend and our mayor Steve Lampi.  While we didn't always agree on policy, we did agree on the need for a better Brooklyn Park.  That's why I helped on his campaigns and will always consider him my good friend.

Twenty two months later - over 10,000 pieces of campaign literature distributed, dozens and dozens of lawn signs, hundreds of doors knocked - and it's almost over.

As I told my Facebook friends the other day, my bones are screaming "for the love of everything hold, please stop!"  There comes a point where one is just exhausted.  At the same time I was raised to run all the way through first base.  Never stop, never give up, run hard until it's over.  So we do, and will.

Good Jobs, Lower Crime and Better Image isn't just a good slogan.  It's our campaign theme because you gave it to me.  As I door knocked this summer these were the issues you told me were important to you.  So we adopted them and will be the main issues I will focus upon if honored to become your next council member.

Thank you to every person who's given me a few minutes at your front door, open garage or front yard.  I am hopeful you will join me in reshaping our community in ways that will improve our city.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Verizon's response to month delay

I am one of those people who adopts new technology early.  Often I'm the guy buying that new cell phone the day it's release knowing that I'm paying more but that I'm also staying on the "cutting edge".  Given what I do for a living, being ahead of the curve is necessary.

For months I've been waiting for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 "phablet" to be released.  It's a large cell phone that will also act as my tablet, replacing my 7 inch Galaxy tab.

Since I'm with Verizon I've been most anxious for them to release the phone.  Last week T-Mobile and Sprint released the phone where I was able to go and play with it for a while.  Then Verizon decided to offer it in "pre-order" mode with a November 27th ship date.

Why the delay?

I decided to ask them and along with letting them know of my frustration with a month-long delay while others already have it in stores.  This was Verizon's response:

Good afternoon! I can certainly understand the desire to have this phone; it's going to be a fantastic device! I really appreciate your enthusiasm for it and can completely agree with how it can sometimes be trying to wait for something you know is just around the corner. Normally, I would have called so that we could discuss this together, but I also wanted to respect your request to not have us contact you by phone.

John, when we make a deal to release a phone with a manufacturer, we want to make sure that our customers are getting the best product possible, and sometimes that means undergoing some slight delays if it doesn't meet our expectations. If we find a bug in the software or something that just isn't working quite right, we do work with the manufacturer (in this case, Samsung) in order to correct it. While it can mean that you may have to wait a little longer, please believe me when I say that it isn't to upset you or any customer, but only to make sure that we are giving you the best there is. I do see that you have a preorder for this device already and that it's scheduled to ship on November 27th, so just in time for the holidays! I ask that you please be patient with us. I know it's hard, but I promise it'll be worth it.
I have to be honest, I'm not buying it.  What they seem to be suggesting is that the others have a bug or imperfection.

The reality that they won't discuss is that Verizon is the only company requiring Samsung to imprint their logo on the "Home" button.  That's what I believe is the delay.  So Verizon customers are all having to wait a month to get a button imprinted with a logo, which will wear off within a year anyway.

As I've been reading discussion forums about the topic I'm seeing so many frustrated Verizon customers.  Ugh.

For technology people like me, check this phone out.  It is going to revolutionize the entire smartphone industry.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brooklyn Park: Good Jobs, Lower Crime, Better Image

Good morning.

Today is Primary Day in Brooklyn Park and we woke to a new line of campaigning in our city:  This website was hacked.

We have so many issues facing our city that are important to each of us and know that those who want to continue the status quo.  They don't much like our positive message of Good Jobs, Lower Crime and Better Image.  Some are invested in keeping things the same as they are, some want to continue talking about improvements without true advancement, and some simply don't like the messenger.

Despite some of the negativity we're already hearing, we will continue to talk about the message.  It's a message that will bring more good jobs to our community by getting City Hall out of the way.  As that succeeds it will spin off additional business creations like restaurants and other support businsses.  That brings jobs to young people and those with less experience.

With those successes we help to take kids off the streets, we give them something positive to do and we help lower crime.  It also helps stabilize hurting families in our community.

Once we start to see real successes in crime reduction, not just cold statistics but also the perception by residents that it's being reduced, we'll see talk of a better image.  That better image, along with the other two issues of good, expanded jobs and lower crime, will mean even more growth in our city.

Some don't appreciate that message but I am here to tell you our residents do.  As I have been out meeting you, hundreds so far, the message has resonated well. I have been very well received with our positive message, one that offers hope to people who've grown tired of just hoping.  It inspires them to the possibilities of a future in our city that removes the fear some live in today.  And as the one candidate in our race who can be a cheer leader for this future, the one who has actually seen both failure and success, who has built two multi-million dollar businesses in the last five years, I intend to continue to work toward these goals.

Despite what we've seen here today on this website we are not deterred but instead challenged and motivated even more. 

I absolutely love being out meeting our residents.  I begin my work day very early and begin thinking about how many more doors I get to knock tonight.  Thank you, Brooklyn Park residents, for the opportunity to chat with you every night.

If you'd like more information about me and our campaign, or would like a yard sign, please visit us at www.JohnJordan2012.com.

Good Jobs, Lower Crime, Better Image.