When I ran for Lakewood City Council, the heart of my campaign message was that we don't have to agree on everything to work together because the issues facing Lakewood impact us all. While this message was in now way profound, given the politically polarizing times we find ourselves in, it was novel. Even more, It was a message that people could get behind, even if they didn't know me. To support this message, I declared that I was not running an oppositional campaign, rather I was running for an idea... that we could do better as friends, as neighbors and as a community. My slogan was "building a stronger Lakewood together. I had no name recognition and only 10 weeks in which to launch a meaningful campaign. I didn't win. But I got 30% of the vote!
This campaign was possible because of people who wanted to stand behind this idea. Novel ideas attract doers. I met my friend Brenda because she wanted to know who this guy was with a sign in every yard for my entire block. My best volunteer, Gay, read about my campaign in the local paper and wanted to stand behind this idea. Dave and Sheila connected me with so many people who were looking for positive change. I enjoyed the opportunities to meet so many people who were willing to support my campaign by writing checks, hosting fundraisers, introducing me to their neighbors and friends. All because of the simple idea that we could find new ways to work across our differences to find a common ground. Even in politics, novel and innovative ideas can move people into action.