The election was October 25.
I caught a flight to Beijing via Vancouver at 7 am the next day.
Not a lot of time to reflect.
But now I have finally had a bit of time to reflect on the campaign and the results. It has been a whirlwind few months for my family and me. The campaign monopolized most evenings and weekends and then, to make things even busier, I was assigned to a 12 day business trip to Beijing… with the flight leaving at 7 am on October 26th – the morning after the election.
While finishing second in the election was never my aim, it was a strong second. And this indicates to me that at least a sizable portion of the voters in Zone 6 were either unhappy with the current Trustee or liked what they heard from me. I hope it was more the latter than the former.
And we did get to about 4000 doorsteps, and that has to count for something, right?
What we did not have was an opportunity to address a large group or two to tell my story. Community associations and the like organise all-candidates meetings for the Mayoral and Council candidates, but the most the Trustee candidates can hope for is the offer of a table upon which to place campaign literature. But hey, that is better than nothing at all!
Unseating an incumbent is difficult at the best of times. But unseating him or her when one really does not have many or any opportunity to address the broad community makes it almost impossible. We did try to reach out in many ways. A Facebook fan page was set up, I Twittered like a fiend, and this site was regularly updated.
We had coverage in the EMC Ottawa South edition., the Riverview Park Review and the Manor Park Chronicle.
I filled out at least a dozen surveys sent to us by different groups and answered any and all questions from individual voters in an expedient way.
We even had a campaign ad! Unfortunately, the newspaper made an error and the ad went to into the Nepean edition and not the Ottawa South edition. Not many Zone 6 voters to be found in Nepean!
But at the end of it all, my family and I had quite an adventure – though my 6 year old told us that she doesn’t want to hear the word “election” for a while.
We gave it a go, fought the good fight and all that. I made a lot of new friends and found that the fire in the belly is still burning strong.
So, what’s next and will I run again in 2014?
Over the next few years I am going to engage even more in my community. You will see my name popping up here and there giving my opinion on local education issues or other education-related matters. I will be posting regularly on this blog and Tweeting frequently (@baldjam). This campaign has reminded me that I live in a very special community and just because the election is over, I want to continue to get involved where I can.
I will be holding Trustee Funiciello to what she said in her campaign literature about being accessible to all parents in the Zone. For the sake of all parents in the community, I do sincerely hope she meant it.
I’m not doing this to set myself up for another run at the Trustee seat. I want to become more involved in my community because I have rediscovered how special and fulfilling it is to be engaged. I want to contribute on one level or another, even if 2014 approaches and I am not inclined to try again.
And I encourage each of you in the Alta Vista and Rideau-Rockcliffe communities to stay involved as well. It is important that we make the Board aware that our community is indeed watching and judging the decisions that they make over the next while. With funding uncertainties, the introduction of the early learning programs, the new strategic plan, the future of special programs and numerous other issues on the horizon, they have much work to do.
Like I said: what an adventure!