Since I announced my candidacy in November, I’ve been writing regular updates from the campaign trail. I do this for several reasons. First, writing helps me think more clearly, dissect issues, and pinpoint my knowledge gaps. These posts deepen my understanding of our current challenges, and by sharing them, I hope they can benefit others as well. I also write to maintain transparency in my campaign so that voters can clearly understand my priorities and see my approach to problem-solving. 

If you want to go back and read all my previous posts, you can click on the titles below to access the full article. For those who don’t have time to go back and catch up, or prefer shorter content, here’s a condensed recap with highlights from all of Patrick’s Posts.

Our City, Our Future: “I believe in Huntington’s potential, and I believe in its people. I’m ready to fight to make our city a place where future generations can thrive and proudly call it home. That is why I am running for mayor in 2024 – to unlock the remarkable potential of our city and make it a place people want to work and live. I hope you’ll join the effort so we can tackle our challenges together.” 

Shaping Huntington’s Future: “So far, voters seem most interested in topics like sober living homes, homelessness, and development along Hal Greer Blvd. There are many other issues that I need to explore, so please share your thoughts on the issues, and let me know which issues you feel are important.”

The Courage to Begin: “(I) met with developers and landlords to understand what it would take for them to invest more in Huntington. They say with high material costs and a scarcity of workers, issues like crime, drugs, and homelessness are discouraging private investors from operating neighborhood grocery stores, building new housing, and renovating existing rental units.”

The Power of Listening: “Crime statistics are not as straightforward as you might think; however, what was easy to understand is that reported murders were down from seven in 2022 to one last year. Despite this progress, there was a sharp increase in various other crimes including arson, shoplifting, and robbery. Public safety is every mayor’s top priority, and from what I can gather, it seems we need to put more police officers on the streets so they can start relentlessly enforcing our laws.”

One Team, One Fight: The Funding Battle for Our Schools, Parks, and Libraries: “(O)ur teachers desperately need more support, and that support can’t come at the expense of our parks and libraries. These are our schools, our parks, and our libraries. They all contribute to making our community great, and I am committed to helping find the resources to support them all.” 

Two Truths about Homelessness: “I’m still learning about homelessness, its root causes, and effective solutions. So far, two things seem consistently true. First, in almost every case, people living on the streets don’t want to be there. Second, other people in the community don’t want them living on the streets either. The good news is that there seems to be a shared goal of helping as many people as possible find housing.”

The Candidate Field is Set: “While the attached list features many good candidates from both parties, I don’t believe the issues our city faces are partisan ones. Regardless of your party affiliation, I encourage you to get to know the candidates and find out how they plan to tackle the biggest issues facing our city.”

Huntington’s Road to Recovery: “To grow Huntington, we need to attract more people to the city. Growth sounds good when we’re attracting individuals who contribute to job creation, higher wages, and other economic improvements. It is not so good when we’re attracting people who bring drugs, crime, and other unwanted drains on our community.”

A Response to the Mayor’s State of the City Address: “The bottom line is that the city’s budget is a reflection of our values and priorities as well as a clear statement about what we hope to become. I am running for mayor because I want to make Huntington a better place to live and work. That requires more than maintaining the status quo. We need to apply our resources to address our most pressing needs so that businesses want to open offices here and families want to raise their kids here. Talking about positive change is important, but the budget is where the rubber meets the road and where our actions speak louder than words.”

The Primacy Effect: “What I’ve learned from attending many of these types of meetings is that most people just want to make their corner of the city better and safer. A good way to get involved is to attend a meeting of your local neighborhood association.” 

We Built Our Field of Dreams: “The spirit of collaboration that led to the construction of the stadium can continue. If “we” do this right, the city-owned ACF property and the Marshall-owned properties along Fifth Avenue & 24th Street offer us an incredible opportunity to build the city we want. From the floodwall to Fifth Avenue, stretching through the heart of the Highlawn community, “we” have the power to rejuvenate our city, injecting new vitality into an area that once bustled with life.

Here is my vision for what needs to be done next….” 

Winning Comes First: “The skills required to effectively lead a city are not necessarily the same ones needed to win an election. To this point, I’ve focused mostly on learning about the key issues facing Huntington so I am prepared to lead after the election. However, in order for me to put the knowledge I’m gaining to good use, the first thing I have to do is win the election.” 

The More You Know: “(O)ur community is home to numerous outstanding organizations that contribute to making Huntington more vibrant and beautiful. These organizations are integral to the fabric of our city and are a big reason why I love it here. However, without more detailed information on the allocation of funds, it’s challenging to determine if the increased spending compared to previous years represents the most effective use of our city’s resources.”

Women, Work, and the Childcare Challenge: “To ensure women can fill their fair share of these well-paid positions, addressing childcare is essential. Encouraging companies to adopt flexible hours and better work-from-home policies can significantly ease the balance between work and family life. Improving Huntington’s childcare capacity is not just about helping families; it’s a strategic move to boost our labor force participation rates and drive economic growth. Imagine a Huntington where every parent has the support they need to thrive both at home and at work. That’s the future I want to build together.”

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign: “I am also grateful for the tour I went on of the A.D. Lewis Community Center thanks to the hospitality of the center’s director, MaRia Hill. She shared with me the rich history of the city-owned center that has served the Fairfield community for almost 50 years. MaRia, who was virtually raised at A.D. Lewis and has been the director for 12 years, is carrying on a family tradition started by her father, who was the center’s director from 1985 to 2000. The community center exists to support the neighborhood’s children, helping them succeed in life through afterschool programs and education-oriented field trips. I loved visiting the A.D. Lewis Center because it gave me a deeper understanding of its challenges and opportunities, and it reinforced for me the importance of the center to the Fairfield Community.”

The Show Must Go On: “Researching the candidates for City Council in your district and voting for people you believe will lead our city to a brighter future is particularly important this year.” 

Keep Huntington Beautiful: “Thriving, healthy communities are marked by their cleanliness. It is often the first thing visitors notice about a city. Not only do public spaces that are well cared for feel safer, they also signal a collective respect for our shared environment and a commitment to the common good.” 

Questions & Answers on the Campaign Trail: “I don’t like it when politicians evade questions. Whenever possible, I respond directly. However, I don’t always accept the premise of a question. For example, some people use questions to try to make things personal and disparage leaders who are working hard to improve our community. Even if I disagree with the way the work is being done, I use my response to move in a more constructive direction. I try to pivot questions when I disagree with their underlying assumptions.”

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