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

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.