Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unopposed No Longer

I'd like to formally welcome Stephen Hemingway into the District 5 race. I received confirmation today that he has filed as a write-in candidate. I have met Stephen a couple of times over the years and have interacted with him several more times on social media. I look forward to engaging with him on the campaign trail and hope that he livens up the discussion.

Photo from

Stephen ran for the District 5 seat four years ago and also applied for the vacancy earlier this Spring.

I encourage all of you to learn more about Stephen and his ideas for improving Provo.

I wasn't able to find a campaign site for him, but he has added a few public posts about his write-in campaign on his personal Facebook page. You can see them if you have a Facebook account. Consider liking his posts. He is inviting voters to meet with him at various "Meet the Candidate" events.

I found this candidate profile that was done by the Daily Herald last time that he ran.

It appears that he has three LinkedIn profiles that have more information about him. And here is his profile on

Welcome Stephen Hemingway. I'm grateful for your willingness to run for a spot on the Council and the choice that it offers the voters of District 5. I look forward to a clean, civil, issues-based race.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Crunch Time

Did you know?

  • We are 6 weeks away for the general election. (November 3rd)
  • We are 4 weeks away from the start of early voting. (October 20th)
  • We are 2 weeks away from absentee/vote-by-mail ballots being sent out. (October 6th)
I've put together a Voter Information page, which has everything I can think of that voters or potential voters in District 5 might need. Let me know if I missed anything.

We are getting into the campaign crunch time. You should expect to hear and see more from the various campaigns. For our part, we are now putting up yard signs. Please let me know if you would like one for your yard. You can check here for other ways to support my candidacy.

Monday, September 21, 2015

What to expect: Consensus

As a follow up to the last post, What to expect: Disagreement, I want to touch on the flip-side of disagreement: Consensus.

I have posted four more statements of support from residents in District 5. I feel that if you pay attention to local Provo issues you will likely recognize many of the names below the statements. Scroll through the page. You'll probably agree that the authors represent a fairly broad cross section of community-minded folk in Provo. What brings a diverse group of people with different views together for a common cause? It helps to be able to respectfully disagree, but I believe it also takes an ability to build consensus.
I particularly appreciate Jamie Littlefield's assessment of my "ability to work well with just about anyone to get things done". She says, "Dave has been willing to listen and work respectfully with both those that agree and those that disagree with him."

It takes consensus to get things done on the Council. At a minimum, it takes a majority agreement among members of the Council to get anything to pass, but a series of 4-3 votes will fray relationships over time. It is far better to work for a broader consensus on the Council before going forward with a vote.

Likewise, in representing the public, it is important to listen to all stake-holders and to look for solutions that address major concerns, even if they aren't held by the majority.

For some, "consensus" is a negative word. It can mean compromise, and watered-down solutions that are not bold enough affect any real change. This does not have to be the case. We often look at issues and take "sides" and advocate for solution A or solution B, though solution B is usually just solution not-A. Coming to a consensus can mean getting compromises on both sides for a hybrid A/B solution or to water solution A down enough to make it palatable to the non-A side.

A good leader can find consensus in other ways. It can also be found by carefully listening to advocates of solution A and advocates of solution B and looking for a solution C which addresses the wishes and concerns of both groups. Building consensus can also mean exploring the experiences and outcomes of other cities who have wrestled with similar questions, and learning together which arguments are the most compelling and which points are the most relevant. Constructive dialog can help all interested parties identify the most important aspects and prioritize the desired outcomes. This may bring the groups closer together.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. said it much more concisely, "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."

If I'm elected to the Council, I will work hard to facilitate the molding of consensuses through the engagement of stake holders, the fostering of constructive dialog, and the exploration of possible solutions.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

What to expect: Disagreement

I've been asked, "What can voters expect if you are elected?" I think it is safe to say that you can expect me to make some decisions with which you disagree.
I've posted three more letters of support from active members of the Provo community for whom I have great respect: Sherrie Hall Everett, Aaron Skabelund, and Christian Faulconer. In his letter, Christian points out that we don't agree on every issue, yet I have his full support.

Many of you know that earlier this year I unsuccessfully applied for the vacancy that opened on the Council when our beloved Councilman, Stephen Hales, tragically passed away. Several residents of Provo wrote to the City Council in support of my application. Council members noticed that many of the authors went out of their way to mention that they don't always agree with me. One writer went so far as to call me one of his "most ardent opponents" when he was running for office. So why would they support someone with whom they disagree?

If I'm elected to the Council, and if you follow the issues that come before the Council closely enough, I can almost guarantee that eventually you will disagree with one of my votes. But with that admission, I also promise that I will strive to engage with you and understand your position when we have differing opinions. I welcome and encourage healthy debate on controversial issues. Sherrie said that she appreciates my "respectful demeanor" and "statesmanlike manner" when the city committee that we serve on together holds "differing opinions." The result, she concludes, is that "We are able to thoughtfully and thoroughly discuss issues and better recommendations have been the result." I believe this is why I have the support of people even after our disagreements.

I have butted heads with many of the people who support my candidacy. At the end of our discussions, they may feel that I'm mistaken, but they know that I hold my opinion out of a sincere belief that it is in the best interest of the community, and that I have tried looking at the issue from their point-of-view.

And this feeling is usually mutual. One of the most rewarding parts of being involved in the community comes from leaving a debate, not with agreement, but with greater understanding and respect for those on the other side of the issue. There are so many people in the community that I hold in high regard, yet there are none that I can think of with whom I always agree.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Vote For Dave - Official Campaign Jingle

Do we have any historians out there? When was the last time a candidate for Provo City Council had a campaign jingle?

You Don't Want My Support

One person figured that I would only accept a $50 donation from them so that I wouldn't need to include their name on the financial disclosure. Another person agreed to write a statement of support, but wondered aloud if it was in my best interest, considering the unpopular stance they took on a recent local issue. Another was surprised that I would even ask if they would support me publicly.

Perhaps the saddest and most surprising sentiment I've come across while campaigning has been from people who feel like outcasts because of their involvement in the community. This sentiment came from a few individuals across the PPS (Provo political spectrum - which is a truly peculiar spectrum). These are good people. They are involved because they genuinely care about Provo. They have worked hard for the betterment of our community. But they feel like they have alienated other involved citizens because they saw an issue differently. They felt that their motivations were questioned when they advocated for an unpopular cause.

Perhaps we, engaged citizens of Provo, need to do a better job of not allowing differences of opinion to drive wedges in relationships. We need to resist the urge to question to the motivations, the understanding, or the intelligence of people who are fighting on the other side of issues. The best policies and decisions come from robust debate and discussion. It hurts our community if people fear to raise their voice of dissent. It erodes our humanity when we harbor animosity towards those with whom we disagree. We should be kind and supportive of the people who care enough to engage in our community, even, and perhaps especially, when we find ourselves on opposite sides of an issue.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Radio Silence

It's been a quiet month on the blog since the primaries. Today I rolled out a revamp of the site that I have been working on for a while. This includes a short bio, a lengthy disposition on important issues that our City and our District are facing, as well as new page about how you can get involved.

With all that important mumbo-jumbo out of the way, I look forward to getting back to my blogging my random musings.