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Full Post: This post is an update to my Oct 7 post, titled "Crickets. Nothing. Not a Peep," I've realized that the Oct 7 post was really about conversations. So this is where I am on this topic now, as a result of developments yesterday. It was a day filled with conversations with a ton of different people: at the grocery store and downtown running errands, on my block walks for Stephen Zollman and Sandi Maurer, at the Sunrise Rotary fundraiser I attended in the evening, and even answering emails when I got home. Most (especially the block walk conversations) were really wonderful and inspiring, but some later in my day were a bit...well...challenging. What I realized as I ended my day is that all of those conversations are important, as a human being and especially as an elected City Councilperson. Conversations aren't always comfortable, in my experience, but all of them are worth having...because all of them help us understand one another better. Conversations are about speaking and listening. And I got a lot of that yesterday in Sebastopol. That's my idea of a good day in our town

Key Takeaways:

  • Sebastopol is fabulous (weather, people, everything)
  • Providing facts is the right thing to do
  • The variety of opinions and perspectives in this town is a strength
  • I am rock solid in my decision to endorse Stephen Zollman and Sandi Maurer for Sebastopol City Council
  • I need to accept that the other candidates do not want to have conversations with me right now

And...finally...yes, conversations (at the right time) are essential for the health of this town. 

Beautiful Sunny Day: Most of my day was spent walking around town going door-to-door handing out information for Stephen Zollman and Sandi Maurer for Sebastopol City Council. What a beautiful sunny day! I had great conversations. We talked and listened to one another. Once again I realized how lucky we are to live in a town where people have such a variety of opinions and perspectives, and are always willing to express themselves. It was truly a day to connect and listen (and enjoy sunny Sebastopol.). 

Fun Evening Event: I topped the day off by going to the Sebastopol Sunrise Rotary fundraiser at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts. It was a super fun time: a sweet venue, lots of food and beverages, interesting auction items, and...the best...lots of conversations and connections. One unexpected upside: I encountered the other three candidates there. I took it as a chance to try to talk to them, and listen. It was worth the effort. I learned a bit more about them, it cemented my endorsement decision for Stephen Zollman and Sandi Maurer, and I am now clear that there's no point in trying to talk to the other candidates further during the election period. And was the event super fun? Yes. It was everything you'd expect it to be, and more! 

Continuing the Conversations: I get a lot of emails on lots of topics. I try to answer them as quickly as possible. When I got home from the Rotary event I fielded an email from someone who was upset with me about a posting I shared on Nextdoor. It was the Sebastopol Tomorrow endorsement for Stephen Zollman and Sandi Maurer. This is a terrific local organization that has been doing great work in the community for decades. When I saw the endorsement I was super excited and copied it word-for-word onto Nextdoor. When I took another look at the full endorsement language, I felt a bit uncertain about a sentence they had included, so I removed it from the copy I'd placed on Nextdoor. Sebastopol Tomorrow did the same, modifying their original announcement. This was the situation that worried the person whose email I received the evening after the Sunrise Rotary event. I replied and gave him details, letting him know that I tried to do my honest best in the situation...which is all any of us can do, really. I don't know that he will feel reassured, or agree with my handling of the situation, but the good news is that we did communicate. In Sebastopol we don't always agree on everything. (Watch any City Council meeting if you need confirmation that healthy dissent exists in this town!) Disagreement is one of our strengths, in my opinion. When I headed off to sleep last night, this final communication felt like a perfect closing for a very full day of conversations.

Endorsing Stephen Zollman and Sandi Maurer: This decision still feels right. Yesterday's conversations, from morning to bedtime, all confirmed that for me. I continue to feel that they are our best chance for retaining the heart and soul of Sebastopol. 

My Original Fri October 7 Post: My original post reported that Jill McLewis and Oliver Dick had not responded to my various efforts to reach out to them before I made my endorsement decision. I attached my emails to that post. They're still available here, at the end of this post. The lack of response to my efforts to connect with them was the reason for the title of the Oct 7 post: Crickets. Nothing. Not a Peep. (My mom who was from Montana would say "crickets." I guess that's the sound of silence on a dark Montana night). The original Oct 7 post emphasized that I felt this mattered because (1) in my experience the baseline for an elected in this town is accessibility and responsiveness, (2) we might be colleagues, and (3) there was explanation for their not responding that reflected well on them. I then challenged the two candidates to finally agree to meet with me. In closing, I presented the following question for voters:

Question: Is this who you want to elect to represent your community? What happens when you want a few minutes of their time? When you want a response to an email so you know they at least received the message you took the time to write? Will you be on their list of people who merit a response? Or not? How does that make you feel about your voice and the voices of others in this town?  

Oliver_Dick Email_1 from_Diana Sep_7.pdf






Diana Rich, Sebastopol City Council
321 S. Main St. #60, Sebastopol CA 95472
707 861-0032
FPPC #1430199
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