Have you received this recent mailer from The Rouse Project? If you live in Columbia you might have it in your mailbox. Here is both sides of the mailer (click on the image to see a larger version:

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Now I live in Columbia but did not get this mailer. This might because I live in an “Out Parcel” or I am just not on their mailing list.

The Columbia Association (CA) mentioned this mailer in a couple of recent tweets:

Here is the link shared by CA in the first tweet: https://www.columbiaassociation.org/blog/columbia-elections-101/

The thing that caught my attention was the “…but there are a few things that are over simplified, misleading or just plain wrong. This is complicated stuff, and you deserve all of the info.”

I do not know any specifics to what was “over simplified, misleading or just plain wrong” but I look forward to hearing from CA soon on this topic.

Have thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Want to know a little more about The Rouse Project? Be sure to check out this interview I did with a couple of members from their Steering Committee:

I have another Rouse Project story coming out later today (or maybe tomorrow morning….depending on my work schedule). Be sure to stay tuned for that article.

Scott E

2 COMMENTS

  1. Leaving aside the question of what might have been “over simplified, misleading or just plain wrong” about the Rouse Project mailer, I found it interesting that (among other things) it apparently nudged CA into attempting to explain how CA and village board elections actually work. I presume this information was not already on the CA web site? Otherwise why was it published in the form of a blog post?

    I don’t have deep knowledge of the inner workings of CA, but as an outsider occasionally motivated to look into CA-related affairs, I’ve always been under the impression that the CA staff and board (or, probably more correctly, the CA staff as influenced by the CA board) had little interest in educating people about CA-related elections and promoting public participation in them. As one example, I’ve found it difficult to find information online about the actual number of votes cast for each candidate in these elections. All you see in CA board documents is, “so and so was elected from “.

    Maybe this is a case of CA relying too much on “who knows who” and not actively working to get Columbia residents more involved in CA governance. Maybe this is a case of CA pushing responsibility for such things off to the villages. Maybe it suits certain people (including some incumbent board members) to have low turnout elections where a couple of hundred votes by long-time Columbia residents can ensure victory. Maybe it’s just a case of simple neglect and nobody bothering (or having time to bother). Or maybe it’s all these things and more. But in any case, if the Rouse Project’s activism causes CA to be more responsive to its “constituents” then I think that’s a good thing.

  2. CA has always provided information on Board elections, but it should be noted that the elections are run by the villages, and each village has its own set of rules. Villages generally publicize elections via their newsletters, which are distributed to all annual-charge paying homes in the village.

    As part of its five-year strategic plan, the CA Board has made public outreach a high priority and has greatly increased its efforts to generate participation in elections.

    Residents would wish to vote or to run for office need only to contact their village offices for more information, absentee ballots or candidate packets.

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