Move out or fight? Give up & get out or make a difference?
Those are the questions my family and I asked ourselves over the last year as we saw our livability quickly disappear before our eyes.
Residents of the West Side/Ward 2 since 2009, we watched the neighborhood we once considered peaceful and a perfect place to start a family, become the very same place that would threaten the lives of the ones we care most about.
The charms of the West Side are slowly starting to dissipate and the fight to keep what we love best about our ward has become harder and harder to fight for. It's no wonder we've come to realize the voices we elected into office, have not been that of the collective community. They have been, moreover self-serving and timid.
Having left the ad agency world to become a marketing advocate for small local businesses, it wasn’t long before I heard the cries and the concerns of the businesses in our ward and what keeps them up at night. I heard them express frustration with the elected officials and the lack of their own voices being heard in the corridors of city hall.
I’ve attended community safety meetings and heard the desperate lack of support needed for our first responders.
I’ve attended affordable housing and rezoning meetings and heard the lack of what to do regarding homelessness and how to preserve the gems that make our neighborhoods unique and special.
I listen and actively participate in social conversations about how our right to commerce has been taken away without consideration to the voice of the community. I have read endless posts and content about how we feel the wool has been pulled over our eyes and for reasons we have not the slightest clue about.
Moreover, I have heard the fear that our community voice has been lost. The fear our voices have been muted altogether.
It is with the above, with strong and decisive discernment, I have decided to put my name into the 2019 November City Council Ward 2 Election.
No longer do we want to be told “I hear what you’re saying” and see little to no action for the community. We want to be able to hear our voices, our concerns being presented to those who promised to be our voice in the first place. I want to be our collective voice.
As I look to what our Ward 2/City Council Role will encompass after the election;
I look, without fear, to represent the good, bad, ugly and uncomfortable.
I look to the work that is hard and gritty and to the work that most would rather pass right over.
I look to go beyond “just listening” and leverage the voice of my community.
Anyone can do the easy work. Anyone can do what’s warm and fluffy and feel they really accomplished something. What we need, is the work to be done that can’t be avoided any longer. The work that requires heavy lifting and creativity. We can’t keep using the same rhetoric, thinking that at some point people are going to fall for it. We (the community of Ward 2) haven’t yet fallen for it and let’s be honest, aren’t we all tired of it?
My approach to running in the election will be as organic as possible.
I don’t believe in fundraising and will avoid it as much as I can. How can I ask friends, family, and small businesses to help fund ways for self-promotion when we all have causes far more near and dear to our hearts.
With that, I hope you’ll tag me in social media posts, email me and text.
I hope that when talking with your neighbors you’ll think of how strong our community voice is, we just need someone to voice it. I hope you’ll think of me to be our loud and proud voice.
I’d love to meet with you and your neighbors. Let’s leverage the weather we’re graced with over the summer and fall and have pop-up picnics in the park. I love a good cup of coffee and of course good company and good conversations. Let’s work to set up authentic dialogue with each other and move the election back to the voices of Ward 2.
Is there an event you attend regularly and would like to have me see first-hand? Let’s try to get it on the calendar.
Know a business owner who has frustrations or concerns? Let’s chat!
Plagued with a problem property or any other issue you’ve brought to city hall and haven’t had any authentic movement on? Let’s chat!
Where there is an opportunity for dialogue, let’s chat!
Community Advocacy Years Before The Idea Of City Council Elections prove the passion I have always had for our community:
Let’s do this together!
Lindsay Ferris Martin
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/StPaulCityCouncilWard2