Why I'm Running For City Council
We've done a lot to enrich our lives over the past few years: suburban homesteading activities like chickens, gardening, bees, and the next door expansion project; dietary changes like producing and preserving more of our own food at home, getting further away from processed foods with corn syrup and seed oils, and generally buying higher quality produce; new business ventures, diversification of income, and a focus on resilience in the shadow of an increasingly uncertain world.
As we get progressively closer to what we consider to be the best way of living and as our children get older, my thoughts have turned toward passing things on. How can I set up my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren for success? Money is clearly the first thing most people think of, but it seems to me that inheriting a strong community is far more valuable. I'd feel a failure as a father if I let them grow up socially atomized and alone, as many are today. They need friends, people they can count on, connections in the community—in a word, social capital.
(Read: What Is Localism?)
The first step in passing on social capital has been finding some of it ourselves. Moving to a place with a thriving Traditional Latin Mass community has been by far the biggest source of this. Our parish is overflowing with young Catholic families having something like an average of eight children each. These are good people who are always willing to help each other out as they live lives filled with Christian charity, and we're blessed to be a part of it.
But there's a whole civic engagement side to strong communities as well, because a strong community really requires wise local government. It turns out that boring things like zoning, annexations, and public infrastructure are actually really important! The way we build, develop, and grow shapes everything for generations to come.
Our county has been uniquely strained by recent events. Our population has exploded from political refugees leaving the west coast to escape crime, COVID lockdowns, and high taxes. Our median home value is $500,000 and median income is somewhere around $60,000 a year. Given recent inflation and the spike in interest rates, few people can afford to buy a house here who aren't selling a lifetime of equity from some house in California or Seattle.
We're in an emergency situation. Many of our friends are moving to the Midwest because they just can't afford to live here anymore. When young people can't afford to buy a house and raise a family, the area will wither economically and eventually collapse. Unfortunately, most people in local politics have no positive vision for how to move forward or how to address these issues.
Therefore, I have a positive obligation to be involved in the business of local governance. Even if it means that my businesses grow slower or that I have to sacrifice personal hobbies or time with my family. Because if something isn't done, then my children won't have a strong community to inherit.
So I've decided to run for city council here in Post Falls.
This is a big change of direction for me. I've never done anything political beyond voting. It's not a path I could have ever foreseen myself going down, nor is it one I particularly relish. And yet, sometimes duty calls and we must answer. There are much larger things at stake than my own personal preferences.
That said, it's also an exciting journey! It's an opportunity to force myself far out of my comfort zone, which is the only place I've ever found personal growth. I've spent the past year or two learning, thinking, and preparing for something like this even if I wasn't sure what form it would take. I've developed strong opinions on zoning, local ordinances, and formed a vision of where I think our city should go over the next 20 years. Given the long term impact of actions in this domain, any success here would have generational benefits for my own descendants and those of my friends here.
Here's a link to my campaign website, which has more info about principles and policy positions, for those interested. Wish me luck! Or donate, if what you see resonates with you.