Just the facts. On Alex White’s robust campaign (and Adam McFadden’s tardiness).

Just the facts. On Alex White’s robust campaign (and Adam McFadden’s tardiness).

Alex-white21-580x580 (1)

Over the past few months, Alex White, Green Party candidate for the City Council’s South Seat, has been just about everywhere. Alex keeps a thorough campaign calendar. In the last few months alone, he has:

Been at the farmer’s markets, 19th ward 50th anniversary, Forum on Climate control, South West Common Council meeting, done a video on corporate welfare, worked with United Christian Leadership Council on problems of police misconduct, met Senator Gillibrand, attended the SEIU meeting the candidate dinner, handed out fliers at the Clarrissa St Festival, dressed up for the 19th Amendment festival, helped write policy for police body cameras, had a booth at the Jefferson Ave business Association festival, attended eviction rallies, attended the Pillar Community Festival, been at neighborhood meetings, helped solve problems for 2 business in the area, visited the Gandhi House for the Seedfolk festival, handed out literature at the Harvest Hootenany, handed out 1200 fliers for a free ice cream social, run an ice cream social, comforted people at the vigil for the Boys and Girls club shooting, participated in 5 press conferences, had a news story about residential tax breaks, been a guest on the Brown and Allen Show, spoken at the UCLM yearly meeting, attended 8 different churches, held a corporate welfare walk to point out the buildings downtown which are tax free, run 3 events to educate the public on cooperative businesses, attended a block party movie night, and done door to door until my legs hurt.    

The list is certainly incomplete as I saw Alex at the South Wedge Farmers Market meeting voters, marching in the Labor Day parade, and at the Memorial Art Gallery for a fundraiser following the Boys & Girls shooting.

also see Green Party candidate Alex White offers plans to reduce violence  and An art museum as a place of meaning in a time of senselessness

I admire Alex for doing so. Even if does not win, he is engaging city residents in important conversations.  At every event, Alex is talking and listening, gathering and passing along information with people in his District. Citizenship in action.

By contrast, his opponent, Adam McFadden had run a decidedly stay at home campaign. I have spoken with several people in his District; they have not really seen him anywhere with the exception of the Thursday night bicycle Ride for Unity.

Recently, Alex and I were discussing what is the appropriate tenure for a City Councilman. Alex suggested 10-12 years. After that, commitment and focus tends to wane. McFadden has been on the Council now 12 years.

And how might that commitment and focus be measured?

One gauge is an energetic election campaign. In comparison to White, McFadden has been sluggish.

Another is how engaged members are at the approximately bi-monthly Council meetings for which they are paid around 33K a year.

Basically, Council Meetings work like this. Sessions begin at 6:30 with the Speak to Council. At that time, citizens directly address the Council on an issue up for voting, including responding to questions. The Speak to Council is not video or audio recorded.  Next, the Council debates and votes on issues at hand. Committee meetings are held at different days/times. The Speak to Council is the only time members can hear publicly from their constituents

In the past 22 months, McFadden has been late 12 times (missing all or part of the Speak to Council) and absent once The next closest is 7 latenesses (Conklin) followed by 3 (several). (Below). In the last two years, Alex has promptly attended all but one meeting. And he is not yet an elected official.

Is a no show campaign and habitual tardiness indicative of waning commitment? Perhaps not definitively. But with Alex–driven by his passion for community outreach and personal contact with members of his District–you get 100% commitment.

UPDATE: I sent this post to McFadden for his response and to give him the opportunity to tell more about his campaign. I have not heard back.

802-McFadden at City Council

Adam McFadden seems to have trouble being on time

JUST THE FACTS   2014 – 2015

January 6/8  LATE Palumbo, Scott ABSENT Ortiz

February 5/6  LATE Conklin ABENT  Scott, McFadden, Miller

March 8/9  LATE McFadden

April 7/9  LATE  Ortiz Palumbo Ortiz

May 5/9 LATE  McFadden, Scott, Palumbo, Conklin

June 7/9  LATE Palumbo, Conklin

July 4/7  LATE  Palumbo, Ortiz McFadden, Spaull  ABSENT Conklin, Palumbo

August 7/9 LATE  Palumbo, Spaull

September 4/9 LATE  Spaull, Palumbo, McFadden, ABSENT Haag, Conklin

October  Alex missed the meeting and all were present (late unknown)

November 7/8 LATE  McFadden ABSENT Haag

December 7/8  LATE  Ortiz ABSENT Conklin

January 7/9  LATE  Spaull, McFadden

February 7/9  LATE McFadden, Palumbo

March 6/9  LATE  Palumbo McFadden Conklin

April 7/9 LATE  McFadden, Haag

May 7/8 LATE McFadden Ortiz

June 6/8 Patterson Palumbo/Miller

July 7/8 Conklin/Palumbo

August 5/8 Palumbo, Haag, McFadden/ Palumbo

September 6/8 Conklin, McFadden/ Scott

The totals:  Late/Absent

Scott 2/2

Miller 0/2

Conklin 7/2

Haag 3/1

McFadden 12/1

Ortiz 3/2


Patterson 1/0

Spaull 3/0


About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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