Run for something! Considering City Commission?

MARQUETTE, Mich. — I announced my candidacy for City Commission one year ago. Now-Commissioner Bonsall was climbing snowbanks in a January blizzard knocking on doors. Campaigning was one of the greatest and most enlightening experiences of my life. I made new best friends and immersed myself in a version of Marquette worth knowing. For those interested in pursuing public service, I highly recommend it and commend you.

Marquette needs to be as representative as possible.

So far, after nearly two years campaigning (I explored in 2018), it’s been worth the sweat. A new precedent was set in recent elections to truly earn these seats. Despite it being one the highest level municipal positions in the U.P., the learning curve is realizable. Once elected, the on-ramp is short but great colleagues make it easy.

Whether you’re intimidated by the duty or humbled by the campaign process, you will enjoy running. It is such an honor to serve. You will need to study and prepare, but capability, experience and qualifications for this office come in many forms.

You can choose to raise money with a treasurer or keep your campaign under $1,000, and like I did, rely on other unconventional methods of communication. Transformative technologies and social media enable us to engage voters in innovative and inexpensive ways.

The County Clerk can help you with a fundraising reporting waiver or walk you through how to report after you pick up a petition from the City Clerk. Forming a committee is a breeze. Connect with anyone who has. We’re eager to help.

In the last several City elections “electibility” has been flipped on its belly. The only requirement for City Commission is to be an eligible voter in Marquette for at least one year.

Low income renters, students, young women, people of color, people of minority faith, veterans, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with disabilities, your perspectives are essential and equitably needed in this city’s government.

Quite literally any registered voter who would’nt serve with a direct family member, you’re eligible and encouraged to run.

If you care about your community and want a seat at the table you deserve to be heard. We need diverse perspectives, and your voice matters.

There are three open seats for City Commission, presumably including two incumbents. An Aug. 4, 2020 Primary Election will also include several contests for statewide and national seats, including the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, Marquette City Commission and the Board of Light and Power. The ballot may also have regional or statewide issues.

Six candidates from the City Commission election will move on from the primary for the General Election in November to elect the final three.

Nominating packets will be ready April 1, 2020. Between 25-50 signatures of City eligible nominators have to be submitted by April 21, 2020. Packets will be available to pick up at the City Clerk’s office on April 1. A Board of Electors will review your nomination petition to verify your eligibility. A $100 waiver can be paid in lieu of gathering signatures. I don’t advise this route. Get signatures.

The City of Marquette also currently has many committee vacancies. Pending a vote on Monday, an ad-hoc committee will be formed to address Affordable Housing, which will be one of the most important charges of Commission during my term. If you can’t wait to serve, we need you now.

I wish a great campaign season to all those considering, and I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about the process. My best advice: get out early, attend meetings and events, use social media, focus on issues, keep it positive, and most importantly knock on doors (or engage face-to-face with constituents as often as possible.) For more information about this year’s upcoming elections visit bit.ly/37Zzm1H.