District 3 : ” Then Do Something About It ! ” – Joe King, Muncie City Council Candidate, District 3
Recently, my friend and I attended the an event, which would formally announce the candidacy of Joe King, who is challenging a long time incumbent for City Council District Three ( 3 ) seat on Muncie, Indiana City Council. It’s an unusual Primary, to say the least. District Three is in what’s been known to be a Democrat stronghold and the seat on the City Council has been held for over one decade by an equally strong, but controversial Democrat, Mary Jo Barton. That Ms. Barton might be challenged from within her own Party affiliation is one thing, but from out of the blue popped a Republican candidate. Most people might shake their heads and say ” A Republican won’t ever win in that District, nor the historically Democrat precincts within that district. ” That was then and this is now…things have changed, times have changed and the people have changed. In almost four years of increased citizen awareness, frustration, anger and humiliation, the no longer average citizen has become, for what might be a significant sign of the times, very important. As a rule, the only time we’ve come into play has been during an election and then suddenly, we ” count. ” In more ways than one. This time, however, we are acutely aware of the hypocrisy and what it has cost us – this community – over the years.
So, with curiosity and hope, I attended Joe Kings’ announcement.
I met Chelsie, Joes’ wife, who proved to be down to Earth, candid and refreshingly open to conversation. A very busy wife, mother and student, Chelsie is very aware of the issues facing her community and her role as partner in a marriage about to undergo a long and arduous campaign season. To say she is solidly behind him is an understatement. I asked her about his decision to run for office and she was direct and to the point. Her husband was unhappy and frustrated with the plight of our city and what was happening to the old neighborhoods and the people who call them home. Not one to flinch, Chelsies’ reply was simple – ” Then do something about it. ” Sometimes, it’s just that simple and just that much from the heart and the logic. I stood and looked at her – a lovely young woman with so much going on in her life would be strong enough to withstand the rigors of a campaign and stand by her husband 100 % in his quest to help Muncie rebuild and redefine itself. Quite a woman. No pretense.
I had met Joe on other occasions. One is struck by his demeanor and passion for a city he loves. He is up to speed on the issues which have been so detrimental to our City over the years and the political machinations which have been instrumental in preventing us from moving ahead and moving on. It will be a challenge. A tough job. It will take years, sweat, a partnership within the elected offices and a new state of mind. A carpenter by profession, Joe King ( no relation, by the way ) knows and understands the challenges of a Muncie much changed. His grasp of the problems we’ve been trying to cope with ( and which will not disappear over night ) is on the money. Accustomed to the arrogance of elected officials, Joe King will tell you – he will be easily accessible to everyone, that he wants to know what his constituents think, experience and know. Keenly aware that he would be on the taxpayers’ dime, he nodded with a smile and shared the belief that elected officials are not Our Bosses, but they serve the people who give not only their votes, but their trust and hopes. I believe Joe King respects and honors that bond. While realistic about the many problems facing the people of Muncie, Joe is just as determined to help Muncie move forward and move on – rebuilding and rebirth, as many other cities and towns across America have had to do in order to survive, will be our next challenge and, I hope, our success. People like Joe King, who step up and step out, not for personal gain, but to help Muncie help itself.
As I wandered about the coffee shop, walking with a cross-section of Muncie citizens, I was fortunate to meet two ladies who do not live in his district, but they had heard about Joe and his campaign and wanted to meet him and to show their support. What a delight ! The people do care and they are listening and reading ! They are part of a great change, subtle, yet at times, stunning in its’ appearance.
You can decide for yourself.
Stolen from the blog www.onceaking.wordpress.com (for mature audiences only)