It seems appropriate that the first substantive post on this blog be about the incumbent.
I recently received this piece of literature from Berny Stone's campaign (click for larger images):
My initial reaction to it was: are all of these people on the front new immigrants? The statement, "Welcome to America" is typically what one says to new immigrants. Did he send this to me thinking I'm a new immigrant? Because that's hardly so - in fact, I've been in this ward for a long time. Long enough, in fact, to feel neglected by the alderman.
I don't think this is the reaction the alderman intended to evoke in me, but maybe that's a sign of how out-of-touch he is with the residents. In fact, this piece seemed to be a "Berny-come-late" response to the perception that Stone is not very in-touch with the ward's increasingly diverse population. That perception may be particularly strong with Naisy Dolar supporters, who likely see the young, female minority candidate as the polar opposite to the old-school machine politician.
Re: the promises on the back page. An incumbent is in a particular pickle (or sometimes, advantage) because he can't just make promises about what he *will* do. He has to show what he *has* done. And in that, an incumbent can't get away with vague references to what his accomplishments have been. Words used on this piece like "support" (used twice) and "include"
fall flatter than bullet points recalling specific instances where he showed his commitment to the ward's diversity in some way. It goes back to gradeschool writing lessons: it is better to show than tell. Sure, it might take a little more space. But does this piece look like it was short on space?
At the end of the day, I am left with the conclusion that Berny Stone doesn't really have any proof of his past "support."