What was I thinking?

Running for Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts was like a nonstop dental exam. A constant reaching out trying to get answers only to be poked, prodded and probed in return. Salem Massachusetts politics is a dumpster fire and when the pipe on Willows Ave explodes all the planning will become an afterthought. It will be a literal shit show.

Perhaps I dodged a bullet again? I actually asked the man upstairs for a sign if I should be running for mayor and just an hour later, my bed broke in 3 places after 12 years.

People are really friendly in Gloucester and say hello almost always while out walking, people in Salem don’t and almost always appear to be in a hurry and visibly angry all the time. I had one woman curse me out for trying to get signatures because Kim Driscoll had abandoned her after winning again and then trotting off to the state house. I had another woman, an employee of Rockefeller’s flip me off while I was seeking signatures. You cannot renovate class. Then of course are those of you that said you were registered to vote but are not, you guys really suck. You waste your own time bitching, moaning and doing nothing to change your stars. Register to vote! or be happy with the nothing you voted for.

Climate change will swallow up Salem Willows by 2070. If you live there, you better jack up your house if you can. Elevation is the new norm, but how high can you actually go? If you live near the water well, I also hope you have really good insurance.

The Salem, MA schools are still a mess. Don’t believe all the stories you hear about the public school system turning the corner. I met with the Salem Teachers Union, and they are not convinced if body language is any indication. Why are we all so happy about a new high school being bantered about when our public-school accreditation is so egregiously low? Can we all thank the “education” Mayor Driscoll for that? Why are charter schools doing so well?

You cannot solve the affordable housing issues in Salem MA by building recklessly and not including affordable units in the planning stages. People will get further swept away. You should not build on a coastline that could be under water in 20 years unless you are doing so on stilts.

Getting back to my signature debacle, I had 118 signatures of which 24 were labeled NFG. I verified 9 of those NFG signatures but was only given one more signature by powers that be at the City Clerk’s election office. I was 6 signatures short. It was yet another sign. It’s funny that they called me a 4:30pm to tell me that I was short with only a 1/2 hour to go but I’ll let you ask them about that.

Please also, do not vote for Dominic Pangallo, he represents business as usual or Kim Jr as I refer to him. He knows where all the bodies are buried and obviously has pulled out all his hair from covering our former mayors’ tracks. There are also lots of people “invested” in business as usual so question everything Salem.

As the bumper sticker says,

I am not a gambler.

You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away, and know when to run You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealing’s done.

Even though I know in my heart I did this with the best intentions there is just too much bad karma floating around City hall in Salem. The need to control the messaging on social media outlets by folks associated with the former Mayor is Palpable. I will be better at this the next time around and I look forward to serving you then Salem.

After hearing back from the Elections department, they only accepted one additional signature of the 9 I submitted, I was still 6 signatures short. After talking with the league of women voters in Salem ( also set up by or for Kim Driscoll) I find my message opportunities at a decisive end for now as a candidate. I do however promise to comment when and where I see fit when I see something that makes me go hmm.

Be well and thanks.

Online Trolls

According to ChatGPT.

Online trolls often gain a sense of power or satisfaction from causing trouble or getting a reaction from others. They may also enjoy the anonymity and lack of accountability that the internet provides. Some trolls may also gain attention, either from the people they are trolling or from others who are watching the interactions. However, it’s important to note that not all trolls have the same motivations and they can range from individuals seeking attention, to those who are using trolling as a form of cyberbullying.

My experience :

I was asked by the Salem group on reddit to do an AMA and I really had no idea what reddit was or is. I went into the room and I was overwhelmed by the angry confrontation and insular mob within. I tried wholeheartedly initially to answer questions but I was over run. I tried to get some of the questions moved to Facebook but even then it was unmanageable.

I spent parts of two weeks trying to reason with characters and people hiding behind screen names. One of the luxuries and failings of reddit is the almost zero accountability. You don’t use your own name and your avatar and created identity becomes your own online personae. You can also vote someone up in agreement or down to silence them. This Salem group was great at both and tried as I might with ethos, pathos and logos to reason with anyone it was a non starter. I even tried launching a better Salemmass group hoping that people that wanted to engage would. This of course upset Reddit and they deleted that group. ( thank you Reddit)

I even invited members of that group to a meet up on a Thursday night at 5:00 pm I arrived a bit later at 5:15, I had an interview with a group of environmentalists in Salem, MA and it ran a bit longer than expected. I got there and it appeared nobody had shown up. I later learned that a 30 something male that was manically texting on his phone was a member of the Salem Reddit group but he lacked the social graces and abilities it appears to put down his phone and have a conversation. Yes he was rude in person like so many of his peers online. I drank my margarita finished my chips and guacamole and deleted my Reddit account.

What did I learn?

Peoples actions online and peoples actions in person are usually not the same except when it comes to members of Reddit. I was surprised to learn in fact that Trumps reddit was deleted from its platform. I would think Reddit would revere a loud mouth saying whatever hurtful things they could muster.

I’ll be honest I have a hand in this, I lost my cool but I was uninformed and unaware and it was an epic fail. Did I call the whole group of them a bunch of losers you bet I did. Are they voters who won’t vote for me? probably. But if I got them thinking about actually voting in the special election for somebody else or anyone I can take some solace that my work was done. I learned much, I will continue to learn and I will use it going forward.