Welcome to Grassrootscandidate.org. I ran for Berkeley City Council in 2004 as a Green coming from the grassroots. Here is the website we put together for the campaign- we were lucky enough to work with a number of tech-savvy folks, especially Eric Barr and Kenny Mostern. There's no reason for every grassroots candidate to have to re-invent the wheel each campaign, so I'm offering the files and the organization of this site as a free template for new grassroots campaigns and new candidates. Obviously, a lot has to be altered to fit your campaign and your race.
To transfer these webpages to your computer, you will have to get to the html (the programming language which defines these pages) and download the html to your computer as a text file (on Apples, "Text Edit" is the text program included with your machine). If you use the Safari web browser, go to the webpage you want (for instance, this one is http://www.grassrootscandidate.org) and at the top of your screen click on "View", and then on "View Source". That mess of letters and words is the html for this page. Choose "select all" and copy and paste it into a Text Edit page. You can now edit it, save it, or do whatever you wish with it. If you use Internet Explorer web browser, you can do the same thing in pretty much the same way (sorry, I don't have IE installed on this computer I'm typing from, so you'll have to experiment). I have not had luck using Firefox (from Mozilla) to do this process. Depending on what computer & software you have- and your own computer prowess- there's dozens of ways to grab the html files (and the folders and image files) on this site.
If you want the whole thing without bothering with downloading things one page at a time, please e-mail me at the address to the left (where it says "E-mail Jesse directly 11/15/05") and I can send you, via e-mail, the various files and folders this website is built from. However, I cannot talk you through how to build the site since I am barely html-literate. There are hundreds of resources on-line about how to build your own site, I'll list some good ones here soon.
In the meantime, bon appetit and good luck! Running against the powerful is never easy but it's almost always very rewarding and vital for our democracy to thrive! One thing that may happen is you may not win your election- here's what I wrote a couple days after the election results:
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the campaign.
Thank you for your excellent support and work on this campaign. While we did not win, we made a positive change at the local level. We met each other and our neighbors. We kept attention on important issues like development, public financing, and rent control.
We worked as a community for the things we believe in.
This is the end of this campaign, but it is far from the end of my political involvement in our City's affairs. I hope you will join me in keeping this campaign's issues right in front of the new City Council and the community at large.
I've had a great time working with all of the volunteers, staff, bands, artists, donors, and my neighbors on this campaign. We'll have an update on the website soon. I'm assembling the hundreds of names of people who have pitched in time, art, endorsements, and/or money. It's an astonishing list that illustrates the variety of people who shared their talents - I'm honored and thankful for your support.
Congratulations to incoming Councilmember Laurie Capitelli, and good luck to my other opponent, Barbara Gilbert. Here are the results from http://www.acgov.org with 100% of precincts and all of the absentee ballots counted:
Laurie Capitelli 4475 57.8%
Barbara Gilbert 2031 26.2%
Jesse Townley 1224 15.8%
We have one final blowout of a fundraiser (the only thing that doesn't stop after the final vote is counted are the bills!) on Saturday November 13th . It's at the Stork Club with Panty Raid, Second Class Citizens, Troublemaker, Retching Red, and Dynamite 8, 21+, $5, 9pm.
Thank you all very very much.
Jesse Townley was born in New Jersey in 1970, and grew up in Philadelphia, where he attended Quaker high school. The son of a jazz musician/writer and a librarian, Jesse came to Berkeley in 1989 and has lived here since. In addition to being a working musician, painter, and writer, Jesse has been a licensed Emergency Medical Technician.
A specialist in Disability Services, Jesse spent four years at Easy Does It, an agency that contracts with the City of Berkeley to provide emergency services to Disabled residents living independently. He was Executive Director in 2000-02, and served on the Board of Directors from 2000 through late 2003. He has also worked at Vantastic Wheelchair Accessible Transportation, Friendly Transportation, and Project Open Hand.
Jesse is a member of the City of Berkeley's Disaster Council, where he oversees the preparation for disability services in the event of an earthquake, hills fire, or other substantial disaster. Jesse believes that a real safety plan for Berkeley requires not only crime fighting, but also the community working together in consideration of the real dangers it faces, like earthquakes and hills fires.
Jesse has been a central part of the Berkeley Arts Nonprofit Community for 15 years. Jesse's experience as Secretary of the Board at 924 Gilman Street - which, along with Freight and Salvage and Ashkenaz, forms West Berkeley's nonprofit music community - has given him the practical knowledge that grassroots democracy and cooperative process can sustain successful institutions. Secretary since 1991, Jesse facilitates meetings and helps oversee the budget of this cooperatively run venue.
Additionally, Jesse works to ensure that West Berkeley development happens in a way that is consistent with the alcohol-free, all ages performances at 924 Gilman. In doing so, he works with City entities such as the Berkeley Police Department, the Planning Commission, the Zoning Adjustments Board, and the Office of Economic Development, as well as private entities such as the West Berkeley Association of Industrial Companies, Pyramid Brewery, the Page Street Neighbors, and the Berkeley Dispute Resolution Service (now East Bay Community Mediation).
A member of Berkeley Citizens Action, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Sign and Display Workers Union Local 510, and the Green Party, Jesse is an avid reader. He is producer of the KALX Radio Public Affairs program Soapbox Derby. He writes music columns for American Music Press and several other national magazines, and he had a split exhibit of his paintings with his wife Jane Townley in West Berkeley in 2000.