Friday, November 30, 2007

A Tribute to This Week's Queens Tribune

In this week's Queens Tribune, out yesterday, there's a profile of me and my campaign on page 10! This is the first traditional media the campaign has received, and it's very exciting. The piece is very well-written by Liz Skalka, and describes my non-traditional background, some of my goals, and even mentions our kickoff fundraiser holiday party this Saturday, December 15th! Pick up your copy of the Queens Tribune at newsstands everywhere (ok, everywhere in Queens, NY) today!

Interestingly enough, just 3 pages later, the Tribune has a feature article about Jack Friedman, the new executive vice president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, of which I am a proud member. Jack had been rumored to be my top competitor for the 23rd District City Council job- from the looks of this article, it appears that he chosen a different direction:

"Friedman sought to continue building that governmental resume as he seriously considered running for City Council in 2009. But that changed after he was offered the Chamber position.
“My only consideration right now is being executive vice president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce and doing the best job I can,” he promised."

Good luck, Jack, in all of your endeavors!
And thanks most of all to the Queens Tribune for reporting on all of the early happenings in the City Council '09 race!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Night with new Union Friends

I attended a fundraiser last night with my wife for Liz Crowley, who's running for City Council in the district where my firm's office is located, at The Shops at Atlas Park. I met Liz at a candidate training a few months ago- she's been noting but supportive and friendly to me, so I'm happy to support her.

My wife Carrie attended with me and we met a bunch of nice people (and a couple not so nice.) We talked for awhile with James Conway of the International Union of Operating Engineers- crane operators. My wife, looking for something to say, said, "So, should operating a crane be something on my list of things to do before I die," to which my new friends James, replied, "No." :-)

I also met Mike McGuire of the Mason Tenders District Council , a nice guy who said he'd add me to his list of candidates running for City Council in '09. And it was really exciting to meet Jean Kim of TLM Associates, who works for Tom McMahon, whose daughter Ryann I used to teach.

But the person I was most excited to meet last night was Eric Gioia, current Queens City Councilman who's running for Public advocate in '09. I have great respect and admiration for Gioia, who ran for City Council in '01 without the initial support of the Democratic Party of Queens, and still won! Eric was very cool to offer to sit down with me over breakfast and share his advice.

Thanks in advance Eric, and thanks Liz for having me at your party. Oh, and Happy 30th Birthday Liz!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Why I'm the Unpolitician


pol·i·ti·cian [pol-i-tish-uhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun
1.a person who is active in party politics.
2.a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.

Holy Sh-t!
I can and I can't believe these are the first 2 definitions given for politician. On the one hand, people think of typical politicians the way they think of lawyers. They don't like them. In a few months of telling people I was considering getting into politics, I've been told dozens of times not to because, "you're too honest" or "you don't make enough money" or simply "why bother?" I get it, people don't like the typical politicians, but, on the other hand, can't I be better than that? What is inherent about public service as an elected official that seems to cause definition 2?

That the 2nd definition includes "more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles" is atrocious. If I can't maintain my beliefs and principles and do this, I won't do it at all. Call me a crazy idealist, but I do believe I can do it, honestly and effectively. Time will tell. Thanks to this blog my words are recorded forever, so hopefully one day my constituents can hold me up to them.

The Tribune
interviewed me today. Very exciting, as I begin doing press for this new venture in my life. Look for it on newsstands everywhere (in Queens, NY) next week.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back in the Ballgame

Day 2 of the invitations waiting game, and today was much better. First, no returned mail! That's always a good thing. More important...I got my first contributions in the mail today! This was incredibly exciting and inspiring. People are taking the invitation seriously, and friends, family, and business acquaintances are reacting really positively, for the most part.

I met with a non-profit group that had wanted me for their Board of Directors, but had to turn me down when they found out I was running for Council. As it turned out, they may want my firm to help market them into the 21st century and beyond. Ironically, they can't let me help them for free on the Board but they can hire my firm to work with them at cost.

I called myself "theunpolitician" on this blog but the reality is that to a certain extent, I've got to play the game: hold fundraisers, seek high-dollar donors, court the Democratic Party, etc. I do pledge to keep blogging throughout the process, to give readers a chance to see the makings of a political campaign from the insider's perspective, and to run as non-traditional, un-political, and creative a campaign as I possibly can...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Did I ask for too much money?

Invitations for my kickoff fundraising event went out a few days ago.
Nearly 400 invitations were sent and dropped off.
Today, the mail came, and I rushed to the door to see who the first person to RSVP would be.
6 envelopes to Vote for Dave Kerpen! Wait a minute...Upon further review, they're all returned mail - yes, invites that went out to wrong addresses.
Score at the end of Day 1: -6

However, I remain hopeful. The Fancy Shmancy must go on! The $95 suggested contribution may be a bit high, but I'm trying to play with the big boys (and girls!) here - the "real" politicians. Friends- if you're out there somewhere and can't afford the $95 bucks - please come to the party and and give a few hours of your time to volunteer for the committee...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Campaign Begins

I just sent out letters and Campaign Kickoff party invitations to 400 of my closest friends and family members as I officially begin my campaign for City Council in New York. I'm nervous, but mostly really excited. I haven't campaigned for any office since college, I have few political connections if any, I am not an attorney as most successful politicians are, and I am running against at least 2 established people in the community.

On the other hand, I'm getting started really early, I am a dedicated and successful teacher and business person, I have a firm understanding of the power of new media, I am good at fund-raising, and most important, I have an amazing network of friends and family who will support me however they can, led by my fearless and tireless wife Carrie. Thanks Carrie for all you have done and will do. You will always be my one and only.

Now I'm off to deliver more Kickoff party invitations to businesses in my district.