The Committee to Elect Valentine for Durham
I am writing in response to your September 18th article about the Indy’s endorsement of local candidates running for public office. My candidacy for mayor is not about being “prime time.” Instead it is about transforming this moment in history into the beginnings of a movement, a movement to engage more Durham citizens to take an active role in transforming our community. The greatest asset of any city is its people. People have become the root of some of the greatest achievements in America’s history.
Now, without knowing who I am, I can understand your pause. So let me reintroduce myself, my name is Michael Valentine. In no particular order, I am a business consultant by trade, a husband, a new father, a brother, and a son. I have been self-employed since the age of 22 and I’ve lived enough life and gone through many primetime experiences to be ready for any challenge. In the role of business consultant, I have advised and strategized for institutions of all sizes. I’m running for mayor of Durham, not just because of my belief in what I can offer the Bull City, but also because of my belief in what citizens can offer Durham, all citizens from the well-established to the homeless. This leads me to the misperception of my response to the panhandling ordinance question at the recent forum hosted by The League of Women Voters. Let me explain that I always carry some change (money) in my pocket for those who are of misfortune but I explain to them if they want real change (to make a difference) you should become involved in making our community better. That can start with voting. Your piece made it seem like I was describing buying votes and this was not the case. I know what it is to really need help and if elected to city council I will devise solutions to fix this issue for the long haul as opposed to my short-term solution of carrying change and buying people a few meals here and there.
Please, in the future, know that I am open to being asked questions, and I am especially open to clarifying my stances. I don’t think you know me enough to throw me away so hastily. After graduating college, I interned at company similar to yours and therefore I value the work that you do. For this reason, I take the views of your writers and audience very seriously. Though I may not be “prime time” on the station you are tuned in to, let’s not throw out the idea of my candidacy to all your readers. Besides, some of your readers might be tuned in to a different station that may have a prime time spot with my name on it. All this to say, keep providing a good service. Like you, I may be misunderstood at times, but what matters most is what a person believes at the core and doing what’s right for those who count on us. One of my wise advisers on my campaign gave me the best advice yet. He indicated that to win in Durham politics, you must have very thick skin and a great since of humor. Check, check. Thank you again for the great service you provide and I hope that we will have other opportunities to learn more about one another.
Reader of the Independent &
Candidate for Mayor City of Durham
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