Civic Spirit and Decency in Ocean Springs
Sunday, as I made my way from house to house, throwing my pitch at as many of my neighbors as I could and answering every question tossed at me, my throat became dry and the water bottle I carry with me had run dry. It was hot. I was a good twenty minutes from my house and I was only getting farther away.
I didn't worry. I knew it was coming. I have lived in Ocean Springs for a long time. Even if a neighbor doesn't know me by name, or know me at all, we are still neighbors.
Two house later I met a nice young mother who was willing to stop her day and listen patiently as I prattled on about economic development, strategic planning, and municipal responsibility. She thanked me for stopping by. I thanked her for listening. And..of course, she asked the question I knew was coming.
"Can I get you a bottle of water?"
"Yes, please. I would appreciate it. Thank you."
In the well over one hundred houses I've already visited in an attempt to spread my name and my message about the future of Ocean Springs, I have yet to have a single negative experience.
Not everyone wants to talk for long. I always offer to just hand off my information postcard if they need to get back to what they are doing. Some take me up on the offer, but they all open the door, smile and take my card.
Most take the time to listen to me. They take time out of their day to stand on their front porch and let me tell them all of my big ideas for the City of Ocean Springs.
Democrat or Republican, the vast majority of the people I've met on my evenings and weekends pounding the pavement throughout Ward 5 are genuinely interested in the welfare of the city, eager to learn more about local politics, and excited to see a young person willing to put himself out there and try. I consistently get interesting questions, insightful ideas about the welfare of the city and encouragement.
This is why I choose to live here. This is why I will raise my family in Ocean Springs. Our citizens are engaged. We want our city to be the best it can be. We know that Ocean Springs is a special place. We believe it can be better.
More importantly, the people of Ocean Springs are good, decent people. We work hard, love our families, care about our home and treat our neighbors like they are our friends.