October 30, 2009

Last Notes On The Campaign. ~ via Seth Brigham

I have a long standing friend of 25 years that arrived last night from Wisconsin until Sunday, and so I must let the final days of the campaign go without any active participation at any invited meetings, or, passing out my business cards, or, going door to door.

I don’t actually like invading people’s homes with that tactic.

But, I wanted to attend today’s meeting at the Carriage House, to bring attention to the homeless problem in Boulder, at least being there to show my support.

Unfortunately, I need to host my friend.

Without funds, I am unable to do any advertising.

But, I continue to get e-mails of support and questions on the issues, which, as has been my habit, I answer any and all questions posed to me. The last couple of days, I have received questions about BVSD and public education and questions posed by student journalists from CU, which I have answered to the best of my ability. I feel that my campaign is somewhat complete, as I have had opportunities to speak out on what I think the priorities of City Council should or should not be.

My goal was not to win but to be a participant, a check and balance to the views of other candidates that I disagree with, in terms of what the future “vision” of Boulder. What should that be? I’m hoping to have some effect on that future.

I became part of the “conversation” and as in the last, though abbreviated campaign, I found that I had a positive effect on the future council to be. That is also why I continue to advocate or be critical in front of council. I think there is a positive effect through my perseverance.

I continue to act as a resident/candidate by continuing to attend council meetings and speak my mind to current issues that concern me. That is why I call it the “stir it up” campaign because that was my initiative, to provoke thought and bring up issues some would rather not discuss. I don’t expect to win a seat on council and never really thought I had a chance.

I simply believe in an active involvement in community affairs and I also have some concerns. Whether I’m elected or not, I will continue to go to council to speak my mind, as I have been regularly doing for several years.

I would consider running again.

I feel that by advocating before council and running for council, I have made progress on the issues that most concern me. I am effecting the “debate.” In 2007, I was very much disillusioned with the council. I became involved in the public access television “debate” and found fraud and malfeasance within the city operation. Council shut it down to control the free speech rights of a resident run, uncensored channel.

The development downtown and plans to build a convention center where the farmers market resides were important issues for me at the time. This council is improved, but I am not satisfied with their actions, especially in regard to development.

And, their plans to “densify” Boulder under the guise they will provide more affordable housing. I’m concerned with congestion and getting people out of cars, strategies and designs of infrastructure, but just pockets of density.

I want to protect open spaces within Boulder as well as Open Space surounding Boulder. A lot has to do with the barrier between the council and the community. I think council has to be more receptive to ideas and suggestions from the general public with an emphasis on helping the less fortunate.

In future races, I think we need to change the way the voting process is being regulated, disenfranchising voters who have moved who are predominantly less affluent than the actual voters.

Registering to vote should be allowed up to the election and those who didn’t vote in 2008, should be sent ballots, but they aren’t. It should be simple as a click to change your address, as students and renters, in general, are cut out of the vote.

In 2007, there was the incident when a mentally ill man stabbed a student at CU and then the University banned all the Chinook Clubhouse members from working at the campus, while they did extensive background checks. The mentally ill man in the stabbing incident didn’t even work for the mental health Clubhouse at the time.

I was appalled at the reaction of CU administration and the clearly discriminatory way they dealt with the situation, so, I came out to the Daily Camera as being a chronically disabled, mentally ill man running for Council. So, in a way, I wanted to put the face of mentally ill into the campaign and help alleviate misconceptions.

I was “mentally ill” while attending CU in 1983-1990, being diagnosed in 1988. Unfortunately, the stress of the election process caused an episode. I was hospitalized and didn’t finish campaigning. In 2009, I decided to run again, as a challenge for myself, for the reasons stated previously, and my belief that I must move forward, as I believe,

“He who is not busy being born is busy dying.”

I have shown incredible resiliency, after more than 1/2 dozen psychotic episodes in my adult life and a continuing mental instability in moods. This time around, I knew of the demands of the race and paced myself, took adequate medication, exercised daily, and rather than do and participate in every event, meeting and debate, decided when I was feeling up to putting myself out there.

Finishing the race is victory enough for me, at least at this point.

For more information on City Council candidate, Seth Brigham, please visit his website.

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