Last Saturday afternoon, I spent a few hours visiting the condos on Main Street and doing campaign literature drops there and meeting residents. I did not do any door-knocking, as I thought that was not appropriate. The people I met in the hallways of the condos were friendly and encouraging.
One resident of the Lofts of Stillwater asked me in to his condo to talk about the campaign, Main Street issues and about maintenance of the dirt road between the Lofts of Stillwater and the marina. Had I not made a point to visit the condos in person, I would have missed out on that conversation.
I've been having conversations like that across the ward since I first filed as a candidate. I have been very intentional about reaching out to people in the ward, regardless of whether they live in single-family homes, apartments, condos or assisted living. Part of the reason why we have campaigns is for the candidates to better understand the concerns of the many people they would represent. Regardless of how this campaign turns out, I wouldn't change anything about how I have run, nor would I trade any of the great conservations that I've had with voters along the way.
One resident of Terra Springs understandably asked me, “How did you get in here?” I answered that I had made an appointment with the property management company to access the building. There’s a state law (Minnesota Statute 211B.20) that permits candidates to, on appointment, access multi-unit residences to door-knock and to do literature drops. It’s an important law. Without it, owners of multi-unit residences would be able to decide which candidates would have access to voters at their properties.
About 10% of voters in Stillwater’s Ward 2 live on Main Street. I believe that it’s important for candidates representing Main Street to make an extra effort to reach out to these city residents directly, not just through Facebook or local media. The impacts of City Council decisions with respect to downtown construction, community celebrations and river issues are often felt most directly by these folks. I am respectfully asking for their votes to represent them and Stillwater’s Ward 2.