Who I am – #1 Fundraiser or Not

The Courier-Journal today reported that I have raised more money than any other candidate in this Metro Council race.  It’s true.  In the reporting period ending March 31 I raised more than 75% more dollars from outside contributors than any other candidate.

But some comments suggested that money is the answer – or that I think so.

Money can’t buy votes – just look at Jeb Bush. A 100-day race in a crowded field requires hard work AND resources, and I am deeply grateful for the broad and deep base of support I have attracted, from 40% more individual donors than any other candidate received. Just as I’m grateful for the endorsements I’ve also received, from C-FAIRLouisville Professional Firefighters Local #345Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Crit Luallen.

For those of you who don‘t know me – or know me only because of my amazing wife Emily Bingham, whose family’s legacy I deeply respect – or who don’t know how hard I worked to become a Supreme Court clerk and successful entrepreneur, here’s where I came from:

I grew up as the youngest child in a big blended family. The three most important influences were my parents and my paternal grandmother.

My grandmother was the second woman in the 20th Century to win the Times-Picayune “Loving Cup” awarded to citizen leaders for unselfish service; that service included leading the League of Women Voters of the U.S. and efforts to reform politics in New Orleans in the 1930s and beyond. My father learned his independence from his mother. Primarily a businessman, he was tolerant and respectful of others in an age when many of his peers were not; an award-winning athlete himself, he never imposed expectations on his five sons to follow the paths he chose. He always told people what he thought. My mother modeled a life of service and looking out for people whom others were ignoring. Always sensitive and generous to underdogs, she volunteered with the homeless, the intellectually disabled, and AIDS patients. She led our state mental health organization when it forced the State of Louisiana to reform its own state mental health hospital. She built a health clinic in one of our most vulnerable neighborhoods. She did all this with a consoling and uplifting spirit.

I was raised to work hard, to give back, to embrace strong positions, and to remain always open to the perspective of people from every background.

That is why I am running for Metro Council. That is why I spent another 6 hours today knocking on doors and asking my neighbors in District 8 about their lives and needs – and asking for their support.

And that is why I’m getting it.

Thank you.