Yes, it is true. I have decided to run for City Council in New Westminster in the upcoming November election.
I think many of my regular readers suspected this, and it was funny at the PechaKuchaNW event this past weekend, pretty much every second person asked me if I was running. My standard answer was something along the lines of “not yet”, but playing coy starts to get stale. That is why I am announcing a little earlier that usual. Once I was sure I was actually going to do this thing, I wanted to announce as soon as I could get a press release together.
There is another reason for announcing now. I like to talk, and I like to listen. I like to have conversations with people about issues in the City and hear what people think. I even like talking to people I disagree with, because that is where the learning opportunity lives. So I plan to spend the summer talking to people. I’m going to knock on doors and attend City events, and I have a few fun and creative ideas to better connect with people. I want to get outside of my usual “bubble” and talk to people not in my Twitter-sphere, people who don’t read this blog, and people who aren’t in the various groups I volunteer with in the City. For all of those people in New Westminster who I don’t already know, saying “Hi, I’m running for Council” is a natural conversation starter.
I will be doing the typical roll-out-the-platform activities in early September. I have some ideas, some themes, and some goals, but for the summer, I want to listen more than talk.
Naturally, there are going to be some changes around here, mostly in the frequency of my blogging, as I just won’t have as much time to write. However, I do plan to keep blogging here, and @NWimby will continue on Twitter. For the purposes of the campaign, there will be a new website (patrickjohnstone.ca), there will be a campaign-only Twitter account (@PJNewWest), and a campaign-oriented Facebook Page. I encourage you to go to those places and link, like, tweet, comment, vote, volunteer, donate, or pretty much hit any other button you are presented with.
One commitment I will make right up front: I am not going to stop communicating during the campaign, nor will I stop communicating once elected in November. The way I see it, my success as a Councillor will be in remaining the outspoken, opinionated, honest, and talkative guy who wrote more than 400 blog posts over the last few years.
So things are going to be weird around here for the next few months, but hang in there, and it should be fun.