This is going to be a quick diary because I have another event to run to in less than an hour. However, I will be back tomorrow morning to answer any questions or comments you may have.
First, I am proud to announce that I have been endorsed by Democracy for America. As one of 11 New Jersey candidates chosen, and just 1 of 2 not running for the State Legislature, I am honored and humbled to have received the endorsement of an awesome, forthright progressive organization. I have a picture of myself and Howard Dean from 2004 on my refrigerator; it is my hope that, when I am elected to the Berkeley Heights Township Council on November 8th, I can emulate his tell-it-like-it-is demeanor and open dialogue with his constituents.
More in the extended text area…
Go to www.bhdems.com to learn more about me and my campaign to give Berkeley Heights a Councilman for all of us.
Second, I am gearing up for the final days of the campaign. My lawn signs are sprouting up around town, my mailers are being produced, and my weight is plummeting fasting than Rick Perry’s poll numbers as I go door-to-door. With a low turnout expected, and even many Republicans irked by the status quo in Berkeley Heights, I believe I can – no, will – win.
Third, I debated my Republican opponents last night for our local television station. With my running mate unable to campaign due to the demands of her job, that left me to carry the banner against the GOP’s nominees. They needed the help, as it turns out. Just look at this quote from one of my opponents:
I don’t believe it’s our [the Council’s] responsibility to reach out to the public. The public needs to come to us.
I retorted that his attitude is the very reason the public knows so little about what goes on in local government. “We need to go to the people, not the other way around” was my immediate (paraphrased) response.
Later on, my other opponent accused me of doing nothing as part of a local committee. I pointed out that the very fact that this debate was being televised was due to my work on that committee to get local media outlets (including online ones) to collaborate on a TV news program on our local station.
I wasn’t perfect, far from it (I had to keep wiping my forehead in the hot studio to avoid a Richard Nixon moment!), but I held my own. What residents saw, I feel, is a young man with a great desire to give back to his community, and who has the ideas and energy to make a tangible contribution.
A 2nd debate will be held October 25th at Governor Livingston High School, and will be open to the public for questions.
In addition to all this, I have been busy meeting with residents at events in the homes of supporters. While you have to pay $35 to meet my opponents, my events are free. As such, I get to hear from a lot more people, and take their opinions and suggestions to heart. I’ll take the tradeoff any day of the year!
The main message I get out of these meetings is this:
We’re fed up with the status quo.
We want our voice heard in Town Hal.
We want our elected leaders to stand for us.
For a community where taxes have gone up 17% in the last 2 years alone; where seniors have lost control of their bus and now have to pay to use it; where residents had to wait a week in some areas to get help after Irene; and where few could name even 1 of their Council members – the Republican Party is the status quo.
With me, they get something different – a positive force to move Berkeley Heights forward, who won’t be quiet on the issues that matter to them.
After all, how could I be quiet with a last name like “Yellin”?