Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Marching Into Spring

Good Morning and a Happy March 1st !

I can't believe that we are through the better part of the Winter.

I am excited to tell you about what is happening with my City Council Campaign.

I am running for the open At-Large City Council seat .
I have the website up at www.hartforcedarrapids.com- Please come and visit the site! Look forward to the changes that will take place on the website.
I have a Facebook fanpage- HartForCedar Rapids- Please start conversations about issues that you are passionate about. I encourage conversation, lively disagreements and please feel free to fact check me on anything I say.

I will be gathering signatures for my nomination petitions in March. I will post the areas I will be door knocking in on the campaign calendar on the website.

We have a committee number with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Board and are able to receive donations through the Paypal site.

Feel free to contact me anytime by email: hartforcedarrapids@gmail.com
or give me a call and leave a message- Ruth Hart 319-431-6691

More news to come!

Have a great March!
Ignite Community !

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Creating a Movement vs Running For Office

I am incredibly excited as I look over my community website. Cheryl Boots, a local website developer has come through in a major way?! Kudos to Cheryl and her creativity.

When I talk about "Hart For Cedar Rapids", I talk about a much larger canvas than a political campaign. Political campaign serve to promote a person, their ideas and solutions and seek to convince you to cast a vote for an individual. What I hope to achieve really has more to do with creating a citizen movement.

Movements are not dependent on the charisma of an individual. Movements are about living, breathing groups of people who share a dance with a specific purpose. In this case, the purpose is to ignite a passion for citizen involvement in all areas of the corridor!

We talk about innovation as though it is a new thing. Cedar Rapidians have always innovated. The people of Cedar Rapids are talented, gifted and passionate about the communities they live, work and play in.

Listening to all of the voices allows us as a community to grow and learn from each other. Please join me as I spend time listening and learning from our greatest resource, our people!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year's Resolution- Blog Now!

Good Morning !

I have tied myself to the chair and I am penning my first blog post of 2011.
It is not that I have wanted to avoid blogging- it is that I have wanted to avoid the task of

I am reading Linchpin by Seth Godin. Linchpin is a rare book that makes me want to change my life. I want to jump out of my seat and create art. I become immersed in possibility and power. I resonate to the core with hopeful energy. I think great thoughts!

If merely being inspired were enough to change the world, I would have no problem. I am so inspired that I am walking on air. I want to go out and announce to the world that we can and will have the best year to date. We will create coalitions of engaged people who live their passion. Neighbors will come together for the improvement of the places they live and will made their voices heard. This time it will be different and sustainable!

Hope is not a method!

The actual work of creating community is a little less elegant. In fact, it is downright chaotic and messy and tentative and never completed in a day. It is made up of a million small conversations where you are not even sure the other person is hearing you. It is made up of a thousand people telling you no. It is about taking risks, looking clueless and putting yourself out there for the benefit of our family, friends and the larger community. In short, it is about being willing to be vulnerable.

I am passionate about creating hundreds of small community enclaves where leadership is organic and comes from the most unexpected places. People are waiting in the wings to take on leadership roles. We have so many talented women and men in the corridor. There are so many things to be thankful for in our community.

Let's find a way in 2011 to embrace the passions and diversity that make Cedar Rapids a Linchpin for the Corridor and beyond.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Responsible Commenting in Media

I have decided to follow the rule that I will choose to not comment under a psuedonym. The internet it a place where people can come and say anything they want with relatively few consequences. I am not saying that is a bad thing. Sometimes you just need to vent. I am choosing to sign my name to comments I make because I believe it makes a difference. If we are calling for transparency in our local officials( and we should be)- then we need to be transparent as well.

Disclaimer: When I am blogging I represent only myself, not any organization I am involved with, my employer or my favorite cat. All me all the time.

Having said that- I have noticed that it is very easy to take issue with an article in the Gazette or any other form of media. I will hold myself to the standard that if I can't verify it- I won't say it. My purpose is to provide information, have discussions about issues that are important to us all.
I can't promise to say something you will agree with or even find interesting. But I will tell you things that can be backed up with data and that I take personal responsibility for.

Back to Blogging

It is the time of year when kids are going back to school. The weather is supposed to be more fall like and we can smell apple cider in the air. Okay- back to reality.

I am going to attempt to blog about the local upcoming city council elections. I had once heard the phrase" those who can't- teach" I will modify that to "those who can't run- blog"

It is my interest to elevate the conversation a little. I am hearing alot of throw the bums out as we enter this election cycle. Fair is fair- you tell me who the new bums should be.

Tag - you are it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Local Option sales Tax

I am writing in support of the local option sales tax which will be on the March 3rd ballot. Here are the reasons why:

1. The cost of recovery from the flood is enormous. While I did not lose my home- I did lose my job. I think that I am more than able to absorb the 1% sales tax over the next 5 years 3 months. It is a way that I can contribute to my community.

2. I support the tax because it will allow us to show others that we are willing to be involved on a local level in reinvestment in our communities.

3. I fully trust that the money will be spent the way it is being designated.

It is reason three above that I would like to comment on.

It is time for us to start working together- there is no us and them. The City Council is made up of people who get up in the morning, face the issues ahead of them and probably have trouble sleeping at night as well.

They are members of our community. The are neighbors, employees and people who work and live in Cedar Rapids. They are not thieves or people who cannot be trusted. They are doing the best that they can on a daily basis- have they made mistakes- yes. Would we have made different mistakes if we were in their place- yes.

It is time to stop painting people as being in one camp or another- as though any of us have forgotten about the people's lives who were disrupted from the flood.

People are clamoring for the Council to make tough decisions- to show some leadership- and yet when they do make the hard decision to seek a 1% sales tax to boost recovery- they are slammed as making the wrong choice.

We all need to start doing what we can- not focusing on what we wish we could.

We will come through this together

Peace and Grace

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Personal is Political

I am not sure where I heard the statement that " the personal is political" so I can't properly credit the source.

I have had the opportunity the past couple of weeks to enter into the inner workings of both city and county politics from a very limited perspective. I have been a fly on the wall at several meetings and have tried to understand how it all works. I come away knowing more clearly what I don't know.

I have fallen prey to experiencing the process without being truly impacted or invested. I was reminded of this as I listened to the impassioned pleas of people affected by the flood at a recent city council meeting. I am dabbling in civic involvement at a time where people are literally fighting for their homes, their jobs and often their sense of dignity.

My lofty ideals and high minded thinking have very little to do with the homeowners who can't pay the contractors who have worked on their homes because jumpstart money has not come through. My pleas for patience and trust in the system can be naive and based on a certain detachment form the situation.

I hope to be more understanding in what people are actually going through, while still advocating that the process is complex and will take time.