A Note from Carlee (re: Running a positive campaign)

One of the reasons I decided to run for mayor-president was because it presented an opportunity to raise the quality of public discourse, to lead the discussion about the real challenges we are facing as a parish, and to be a positive voice for change.

This week really brought home for me the importance of my decision.

A quick recap of the week’s news is relatively gloomy. Mayor-President Joel Robideaux recently asked a state regulatory agency to look into budgeting practices at LUS and LUS Fiber. Opponents of the charter amendments are still at it—accusing the City-Parish Council of a “walking quorum” based on text messages. And while Lafayette escaped most of the brunt of Hurricane Barry, the close call was yet another reminder that we remain vulnerable to high-intensity rain events, and there is no easy answer.

Meanwhile, the campaign continues. We continue to hit our fundraising goals. I am getting a chance to meet people all across the parish. More than 20 volunteers walked neighborhoods this weekend. And tomorrow from 6 to 8 p.m., we will host the Big Tent town hall on drainage, where I will discuss in detail my plans for stormwater management.

With this positive backdrop, this week also saw an increase in negative rhetoric, especially on social media from overly partisan groups funded by secret donors. That isn’t a surprise. The same groups fought the charter amendments with similar tactics.

In the face of this, we remain positive. We aren’t running a positive campaign in spite of the negativity of the opposition, but because of it. In a world where negative voices are amplified by the anonymity of social media, it’s more important than ever to be a positive example. Let’s talk face to face, not keyboard to keyboard.

A positive, non-partisan message can resonate when we empathize with people who disagree with us. We can reach consensus on tough issues when we focus on what we have in common and accept our differences. And if we are willing to put what’s best for Lafayette ahead of our politics, then we can make progress on our shared priorities.

That’s what the charter campaign was about, and that is what this one is about too. Coming together for Lafayette’s future. If you are ready to get more involved, we have a way to plug you in—from fundraising, to direct outreach to friends and family, and of course, walking neighborhoods. But we can all start small this week—before we post or send that email, remember that those are all opportunities to set a positive example to the rest of Lafayette. We can do this together.