Most of us are too busy to spend much time studying political issues or trying to understand candidate positions. It doesn’t mean we don’t care: there’s just a lot of information to absorb. Sometimes, we ask a trusted friend, “Who should I vote for?”, presuming they have studied the issues more than we have.
Other times, we look for labels to filter and narrow the choices. Republican or Democrat? A fresh face or a familiar one? For this or against that? Sometimes, we resort to economical sound bites; a couple of yes/no positions become the litmus test of whether we will vote for a candidate.
As a candidate, it is unusual, and refreshing, to engage with voters who have invested time and energy in the political process toward the goal of making the most informed and thoughtful decision at the ballot box. One such group is the “2018 Candidate Review Committee” formed by the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors® (SAAR).
Once the slate of candidates for the 2018 election was decided, this group of twenty or so individual realtors began to formulate the hard questions on the minds of their 9,000 members and the clients they serve. In mid-June, the Committee distributed a questionnaire to every candidate running for local and state office. They posed a dozen Public Policy questions about each candidate’s position on issues likely to affect homeowners, the economy, property rights, jobs, housing development, taxes and the state of city infrastructure.
Answers give some insight into a candidate’s grasp of the individual issues, as well as the inter-relationship of these issues in determining the quality of life in Scottsdale. Selfishly, the answers also revealed a candidate’s sensitivity to nurturing the factors of success for the real estate broker/agent community.
In mid-July, the “2018 Candidate Review Committee” then conducted interviews with candidates. This was their opportunity for a more conversational understanding of each candidate’s positions and an assessment of each candidate’s passion and qualification for public service.
Obviously, I am telling you all this because I am proud to have been endorsed by the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors® 2018 Candidate Review Committee for election to a second term on Scottsdale City Council in November. Here’s what they wrote to me:
Everyone truly valued your insights into the issues affecting your community and the passion you have for making a difference in securing your community’s future. We appreciate the time and thoughtful answers you provided us…
After careful consideration…we are pleased to recommend that our membership support your candidacy for office. Based upon the comparison of your values and position on real estate issues to our Policy Platform, we believe that you are the best choice for endorsement of the office you are seeking.
On behalf of the Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® and its more than 9,000 members we appreciate and value your understanding of real estate issues affecting our local communities, both now and in the future, and look forward to working with you.
Again, congratulations on your wonderful successes to date! We look forward to seeing you win this election.
A friend and supporter asked me, “What did you have to do to get their endorsement?” I told him all I had to do was promise to vote for those things that improve the livability of Scottsdale – which is what I’ve been doing anyway.