Monday, February 02, 2009

Perry Campaign Already A Daily Affair

While everyone anxiously awaits my next Mayoral odds line (later this week but no promises) why don't we check in with dark horse darling James Perry?

Perry, the executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, confirmed his interest in the Mayor's office to WCBF in mid-December:

The fundamental concern is that the rebuilding effort is failing. So far, the folks who have discussed running for Mayor have not had a strong record when it comes to rebuilding. Many of them are great folks with strong records but they haven't been pushing on these issues around getting the neighborhoods in New Orleans rebuilt.

Frustrated by the lack of support municipal government has provided for the city's various grassroots citizen-driven recovery initiatives, James Perry seems to have both the record and rhetoric local progressives like myself have yearned to inject into the political discourse.

The question for Perry has been and will remain whether or not he can generate the grassroots support necessary to compete with wealthier rivals. Without a vast personal fortune or the seemingly prerequisite political alliances, Perry will have to outwork adversaries in every other facet of the campaign from messaging to the field organizing. To be taken seriously when campaign fever hits the rest of the city, James Perry will have already needed to infect an army of supporters with his own mutated strain of the virus.

Considering the mountain ahead of him, it's hard not to be hopeful about the initial groundwork. He's announced his interest and formalized his exploratory committee, which is more than other contenders can say. He's launched a simple but interactive website, cultivated online social networks, attended more community meetings and events than previously considered possible, and set an initial fund-raising target. The $25,000 goal is extremely modest considering what he'll eventually need to compete, but nothing grows without seeds.

Recognizing that a competitive coalition will depend heavily on the enthusiastic support of young voters and the city's most engaged progressives, Perry is already laying down tracks - demonstrating the ability to use the tools of online networks for concrete organizing in the flesh. He hasn't just started a Facebook page for his campaign, he's tapping his early supporters there to host house parties on his behalf. He hasn't just opened a Twitter account, he updates regularly. He hasn't just published a website, he's provided forums for supporters to contribute to his platform.

So if you haven't yet...

Join Convince James Perry to run for Mayor of New Orleans!!!

Follow James Perry on Twitter

Donate a small sum to his campaign

Contribute your voice to his issues pages for crime, economic development, education, and housing. (I'm dominating these mini-forums by the way, someone had better get over there and shout me down.)

And if you're already ready already, endorse him on your blog - like my main man DSB or bad ass Princeton politics professor Melissa Harris Lacewell.

At the very least, join the facebook group and get to know the guy and what he stands for.

2 comments:

mominem said...

I'm waiting for a candidate who will man-up and stop shifting responsibility to various "grass roots organizations" wouldn't be necessary if the government of the City of New Orleans actually worked at least 50% of the time.

E said...

Funny you should bring that up, that's exactly what James is saying on the issues title page:

"Many of the city’s best new ideas got their start in the Recovery sector, where creativity and innovative solutions drive progress. The recovery sector has succeeded largely without support from City Hall. A government that at best sits on the sidelines, at worst, is corrupt, does not fulfill its primary purpose: to serve the people. Politicians who willfully ignore social entrepreneurship and innovative neighborhood redevelopment in New Orleans ignore the passion their citizens feel to rebuild our city. Unless something changes in City Hall, the recovery effort is going to continue to hit a wall."