Aparently, maybe, I'm going to be on TV tonight (Channel 3).
Now I have to think harder about how I dress and shave and stuff. Here's the speech I'm going to give:
My name is Zach Miller and I'm running for Champaign County Board in District 9 because Champaign County needs an independent progressive voice that represents the interests of our community.
When Green Party members asked me to run for County Board several months ago, I wasn't quite sure what the county did. I've done plenty of political work with Congress, with the state legislature, and with city Council but all I knew about the county board is that it is a place where local Democrats and Republicans fight a lot. Now, I was sure that politicians don't fight unless there's some power, some money, or some resources to fight for. So I've been researching what the county can do and it's quite a bit. Rural zoning and development, county police, public transportation, marriage licenses, deeds, taxes, social services, and more. But who is controling the use of this power? Can the county operate in the interests of the people if the people don't know what it does?
When I decided to enter this race, a non-incumbent Democrat was running, uncontested in the primary, for this seat. No Republican was running. One seat. One candidate. How can voters express their opinion when they have no choice?
I've met too many people who don't know who their county board representatives are, what the county board does with their tax money, or how to get involved in county government. There is democratic power at the county level, power that local residents can use to affect the way their community is run. All the resources at the county level belong to us, the residents of the county. Big business and powerful interests have influence at the county level but all too often the rest of us are left in the dark. I want to change that.
I will work to establish an independent citizen's police review board for the Sheriff's office. I will work to expand the living wage at the county level to all county contractors. In my decisions, environmental concerns will take precendence over sprawling development. I will fight for full and equal rights for all the county's residents. I will work to broaden the county's outreach so that folks know what is happening and how they can be involved.
In order to do all of this, we need your help. The success of a campaign is directly proportional to the strength of it's volunteer base and we are now ready to ramp up our volunteer base. We have only about 3 weeks left to gather hundreds of petition signatures in the districts and thousands countywide so that we can get on the ballot. We are organizing several petition parties every week and we need you to join us. There's plenty of work to do and with enough people no one has to put in more than an hour or two every week for the next 3 weeks to get this campaign on the ballot. We petition at the Farmer's Market every Saturday morning and we go door to door in the evenings and on Sunday. If we can't get on the ballot, we can't campaign and grow the Green Party and win and serve you on the county board. Please fill out a volunteer card, pick up a petition and instructions, and talk to us.
There will be a Q&A session after all the candidates have spoken. I'll be happy to answer any questions about my campaign or about volunteer opportunities at that time. Thank you!