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  • Doug Smith

Campaigning during football season

Football schedules

I learned years ago, during my first campaign for city council, to avoid knocking on doors while the Buckeyes are playing a football game. Campaigning prior to a game on game day is usually the best bet. Most people are home waiting for the game to begin. Many people are pre-gaming and are more eager to talk to a stranger who knocks on their door. Some people invite me to join them in their pre-game festivities.

Waiting until the final score is a gamble. Even though a Buckeye loss is unlikely, it does happen from time to time. When knocking on doors after a loss, I never know what will happen. Many people are upset by the loss but they appreciate me stopping by all the same. Some people shut themselves in and don’t answer the door when I knock. One man, dressed entirely in Buckeye gear, saw me knocking on the door. He looked at me the way you solemnly look to someone familiar at funeral. I recognized the look and slowly nodded in reply. I gave a gentle wave, left a door hanger and walked away, understanding he did not want to interact.

In contrast, if the Bucks win, knocking on doors immediately following the game is really interesting. Many people celebrate the win, and are eager to answer the door. The conversations are encouraging, and some people invite me to join in their post-game festivities. I politely decline, citing the need to meet more folks, but I appreciate the invite all the same.

Win, lose, before or after: all circumstances vary but can still be handled with caution. But never knock on a door during the game.

Scooter and tricycle

This week, my son (age 3) enjoyed being pushed around several neighborhoods on his tricycle. Typically, campaigning with my son is a hybrid of him walking half the time and me carrying him the other half. Since my back was getting strained (more on this later) I decided to push him on his tricycle.

He enjoyed it so much, that he wanted to do it the next time out. My daughter (age 7) decided she would join in the fun by riding her scooter. It was going well until we reached one neighborhood with under-maintained sidewalks.

Many sidewalk squares were more than three inches apart, and many others were cracked and crumbled. This particular neighborhood is in the city of Columbus, where the sidewalk policies are more lax than Worthington and Dublin. However, this is a reminder of one of my policy platforms for the state house.

When the state raided a majority of the local government fund, residents and homeowners paid the most. The state did not give any tax breaks for cutting the local government fund. They diverted the funds to other programs, leaving local governments to fend for themselves. Across Ohio, this decreased funding from the state has depleted local budgets, forcing local governments to turn to the voters for local tax increases.

If the local government funding is re-diverted back to local governments, local tax increases are thwarted. And, local governments can establish infrastructure programs with the money. These programs include grant funding for neighborhood sidewalk repairs. I am working on a prototype for this type of program in Worthington.

As your state representative, I will work to bring more local funding back to your community by replenishing the local government fund.

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