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John Nephew

Maplewood City Council Policy & Politics


MVC Candidate Forum Audio

At some point in the future, the Maplewood Voters' Coalition candidate forum will be broadcast on one of the cable access channels. But for those who couldn't make it to the event, don't want to wait until after the primary for the broadcast, or don't have cable, the MVC has posted a summary and audio of the event on their website, along with some still images.

While I'm on the subject, I also thought I'd post the prepared remarks I wrote for opening and closing statements at the MVC forum. At the actual event I wound up speaking more off the cuff, but I think my written remarks are worth sharing, especially on the eve of the primary election.

MVC Forum Opening Remarks

Let me begin by thanking the Maplewood Voters Coalition for their endorsement, and for hosting this forum.

There's a funny thing about campaigning for Maplewood City Council this year. We candidates get to stand up for the most common-sense things that everyone should agree with – for example, to say that the city should produce its budgetary documents and financial reports on time; or the city should not retaliate against workers who exercise their legal right to organize. This year, those common sense things that should go without saying actually need to be said, because they do in fact distinguish us from the majority that currently runs the city council.

This evening provides a wonderful change of pace. I think that in this company, with the engaged citizens of the Maplewood Voters Coalition, and this panel of candidates who have met the MVC's expectations, we share a common understanding of things gone wrong in city hall. So here we get to take the conversation a step further – away from critiques of the present, and into our visions for the future.

I am honored to have the endorsement of the informed and engaged members of the MVC. It is an honor to be here with other candidates that have received the MVC's seal of approval, and I look forward to this evening's forum.

Closing Remarks

For my closing remarks, I'd like to tell you what I've seen on the campaign trail. I decided to run back in February, so it's been almost seven months now for me. I began door-knocking on July 1st, and I've now visited every precinct and neighborhood in the city, to bring my message to voters who care about city government. I have to tell you, everywhere I've been in Maplewood, I have found voters ready to hear my message of restoring pride in Maplewood through fiscal responsibility and good government.

Something voters want is hope. Tonight, I'm here to tell you that there is good reason for hope. All over Maplewood, voters are overwhelmingly unhappy with the direction of the city, and ready to vote for change. Most of the candidates in this race, including my worthy opponents on this panel, offer a better future for Maplewood than the majority that controls the city council today. I am doing my very best to win, and I do want you all to vote for me as the very best candidate. But I have to tell you that I believe, even if I am not on the ballot after next week's primary, or not on the new city council in January, I believe that democracy will work, and the voters of Maplewood will vote for the positive change that this city longs to see.

Thank you again, and good night.

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