I’m sorry. I tried really hard. And I know that there are some people that wanted to see me win.
But clearly, most of Ward 8 did not see it that way. That’s fine. I absolutely respect their decision.
This is not the first time I’ve lost. Far from it.
I’ve lost more times than most people in Akron I can think of.
I’ve lost multiple tent communities. I lost a wonderful homeless run day center. I’ve lost at city council, the zoning commission and every possible court available to me including the Ohio Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. Both of those courts refused to hear our case asking for the right to shelter any single homeless person in the most dire and extreme cases.
I like to think of myself as Akron’s Biggest Loser. Fortunately, I won’t have to change that title now.
But here’s the thing. Every time I lose, the cause becomes a little clearer. A few people think to themselves: “this isn’t right. We should be treating the most suffering people of our community better.”
My losses strengthen these people’s stories and their dire situations. My losses remind some people of those among us who have lost so much more.
And so I never lose. I can’t lose. The more I lose the more the cause gets stronger.
What is happening in Akron and all of America isn’t right.
I sat outside in 40 degree rain for 13 hours today at a polling place thanking people who came out to vote. The real reason I sat out there all day was to remind myself that HUNDREDS of Akronites sat outside all day this day and EVERY day of the year for years on end because society can’t find a path where that humanitarian nightmare ends.
I suspect I lost because most of society doesn’t see a need for a person like me in any kind of formal leadership. “His heart is in the right place” (which is something authorities like to say). “But we need someone in that role who is more realistic and serious.”
I like James Hardy. I think he’ll do well as a city council person. I am at peace with the universe and what it intends for me.
But the way we treat each other in America today is atrocious. We cancel each other at the slightest whim. Where did we learn this kind of cruel, unforgiving hatred? There isn’t one single spiritual icon who has ever remotely suggested such childish, hateful tribalism.
We must do better. Some people are on that path. Most people aren’t.
I feel quite confident that my place is not in politics, given my substantial loss today. But I truly believe I have a message that needs to be heard.
Quitting has never been a real option for me on this journey. How could I quit when we have so much left to do?
Thank you for all of you that helped me along this journey of trying to be a city council person. Please don’t be down. These kinds of things are just a part of the journey that must continue.
I love you all.