On January 3rd, 2014, I went into City Hall in my hometown of Mountain View California and filled out my “intent to run” paperwork. About the only people who took notice was the City Clerk who filed the paperwork, the people in her office and perhaps the mailroom attendant. It becomes obvious very quickly that the job of a candidate is to make your candidacy known.
Mountain View has three open seats for its seven person council. That is, three incumbents are terming out. Presently the field is four people, two of whom ran in 2012 and lost. I expect the field to grow to at least eight candidates. Immediately after filing, I sought out a team of advisors, including a campaign manager. Not doing this alone is probably the best decision I’ve made. I certainly require the advice of my team and heed it most always, if for no other reason than I don’t do something hasty that leaves a scar on my candidacy.
For the past six weeks, the campaign has largely been an infrastructure exercise. However, on Thursday night (Feb 13) our local paper just ran its first article about the election (which is in November) and now it’s inescapable: the contest is real and I’m in it.
When our paper goes to print, it also puts the articles online. And that’s where the community has an opportunity to leave comments. As any reader of DailyKos is aware, that in of itself can be quite the treat. One of the biggest issues in Mountain View (indeed, the entire Bay Area) is that the number of jobs is growing faster than the housing stock can keep up. Consequently the price of rentals and houses has skyrocketed. Rents go as high as $8,000/month in some cases…for an apartment. People who’ve lived here for years and years, people valuable to the community on so many levels, are being forced out by rising costs. Many are choosing to leave California altogether. It’s very sad.
I am a proponent of development of new housing. I’m especially interested in developing the area known as the North Bayshore area where most of Mountain View’s high tech companies reside including Microsoft, Intuit and Google. The newspaper article says as much. Naturally, one of the more comical (and baseless) comments online stated, “If you want the number of Mountain View apartments to more than double, if you want our population to increase by 55,000 (42%) then vote for Ken Rosenberg.” People making things up about me and my positions. Very enlightening.
At last week’s City Council meeting, where I was in attendance, someone came up to me afterward and said “You’re the one to beat” which was at once flattering and frightening. If I am a front runner, then that means I’m everybody’s target.
Now I’ve been told that I am supposed to ask my fellow Kossacks to help contribute to my campaign. This is the fourth diary I’ve written about my experiences and I have yet to do that. However, I just completed my budget and recognize that it’s going to cost over $20,000 to run in this 75,000 person town. I've only raised $200 thus far. Again, campaigning is all about getting recognized and remembered. So if any of you are so inclined, here is the link to my contribution page. I really appreciate your consideration.
Click here to contribute.
Facebook: Ken Rosenberg for Mountain View City Council
Thanks folks, for listening, contributing, supporting, praying, and otherwise being here for me to “think out loud.”