I can’t believe I last submitted a diary a month ago. Where has the time gone? Oh yeah, nearly every minute of my days (and nights) have been filled with campaign activities and as such, I’ve had no time to write.

The date for filing to become a candidate and appear on the ballot closed on August 8th. We officially have nine candidates for three open seats (that is, no incumbents) . Even though this is a large field, it’s not the largest in Mountain View’s history. Indeed, a number of years ago, there were twelve! However, the field of candidates this year is very strong. We have three candidates who have run before and know how to run a campaign, five of the nine have been on the Planning Commission,  often seen as a stepping stone to council, two lawyers, four MBAs, two who have worked for congress members, etc, etc. There really isn’t a slouch in the bunch.

In my last diary, I spoke of the organizational endorsement processes that had begun. First it was the Labor groups, but it has moved on to Realtors, Apartment Association, the Democratic Party of Santa Clara County, the Firefighters, etc. Even Planned Parenthood sent me a questionnaire to fill out if I want their endorsement. Before I began, I had heard that candidates will receive many questionnaires from many different interest groups. I figured a cut and paste approach would be possible. It’s not. They all ask extremely different questions and require different sets of knowledge to answer. Much time is spent on this, if you want the endorsement. One of the candidates in this race isn’t going for any endorsement, so he’s saving a ton of time. One endorsement I really wanted, but I could not apply for was that of the Firefighters. Their original email apparently ended up in the spam folder of not just my account, but a few of my opponents too. To their credit, they re-scheduled the interviews for those who had missed it for another weekend. To my dismay, they re-scheduled it on the Saturday morning of my son’s Bar Mitzvah. In spite of trying different ways to be interviewed, they stuck to their process and disqualified me from the endorsement choices. That one hurt.

Whatever the outcome of the organizational endorsements (as most have yet to announce), I feel it is far better to receive endorsements from local leaders. People that work in the community I’m fighting to represent. Voters, when looking at someone’s listed endorsers, will definitely know many of the people on my list because I’ve been working in the community for so many years. Those relationships are very valuable, especially as word of mouth.

Since I last wrote, we had two public candidate forums. The first one was organized by the Chamber of Commerce/League of Women Voters and the second by a coalition of community groups organized around housing and transportation.  Both are supposed to be online, but the first has yet to appear (best I can tell). Click here for the Housing/Transportation forum.

That's me in the center. The Chamber forum was held in a Microsoft conference center and over 200 people were present!
For the forum run by the Chamber, I felt I did ok. I was nervous, as were many of the other candidates. One of my supporters called me the next morning and told me that I was competent, leader-like, and answered the questions well. Then he added, “But you weren’t being you. You were being too formal.” He went on to discuss how he always liked my leadership style because it makes everybody in the room feel more relaxed. When the second forum was about to begin, I saw him enter the room. It made me happy to see him, and I immediately started to respond to the questions in a manner that is much more my style. After it was over, several audience members said that I had earned their vote. Two have already contributed money to my campaign and one took a yard sign. So yeah, I think my friend was on to something! I think there are seven more forums scheduled (including one in the TV studio, broadcast live), so I have many more chances to “be myself” in front of the voters. However, one of them is scheduled for the night of Rosh Hashanah. Ugh. I’ll probably miss it. Ironically, it’s being hosted by an inter-faith organization!

They say walking the precincts is one of the keys to success. I have been carrying a pedometer in my pocket to measure how far I’ve walked. Mountain View is a city of only 12.2 square miles, but I’ve walked over 70 miles so far. I’d walk everyday if I could, but there is so often something else conflicting with my ability to walk. I typically walk alone. I’m 47 years old and have a great deal of energy, so I walk quickly and go for many hours. It’s hard when it’s hot, but luckily, the Bay Area weather is some of the best in the world, so that’s not too much of a burden. Here is a video a supporter made for me. I uploaded it yesterday!

I’ll close with a few words on what it is like, for me, to be a candidate. I had an expectation of A and it’s turning out to be B. I had asked enough preliminary questions of former candidates to get a realistic view of what I’d be doing. What I didn’t fully appreciate is how tough this would be emotionally. There are times when I feel great and full of confidence and know that my message is getting heard and would seem I am for sure going to be elected.  But there is so much negativity out there. It’s mainly found on the community discussion boards and people can be downright cruel, even though they don’t know me. I know I have to toughen up, but it still hurts.  So there are also times when I feel like questioning my decision to run in the first place because I fear, strongly, that I will lose.  Additionally, I am the only candidate with kids at home. As I’ve said in another diary, my daughter is 15 and my son 13. I am missing so much of what is happening to them on a daily basis. And to make it worse, my wife is being made to work twice as hard because I’m simply not present often enough to help. So there is a lot of guilt, too. Fortunately, win or lose, the election is two months from today. Since my daughter has been born, my wife and I have only ever gotten away without the kids for a night at a time, usually separated by several years in between. On November 6, I booked the two of us on a trip to Hawaii….for four days. It will be needed.

Thank you once again, DKos community. I really enjoy knowing you’re here for me.
As always, thank you for your support.
Website: www.mountainviewken.com
Donations: CLICK HERE!
Facebook: Ken Rosenberg for Mountain View City Council
Twitter: MountainViewKen

Originally posted to BayAreaKen on Thu Sep 04, 2014 at 03:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by Silicon Valley Kos.

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