Saturday, August 29, 2009

On The Campaign Trail

Several supporters and I went out into the Linden Heights Neighborhood this week where we were all well received. Here are some photos from one of our evenings. After meeting with us, one young man went inside and quickly produced his very own campaign t-shirt. He then traveled two blocks to find us so that we could see that creativity and hope are still alive and well in our city! If you want to come and join us while we campaign all over the city, email me at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boutique City ..... WHAT??????

The first time I heard of Dayton being referred to as a "Boutique City" it was by our incumbent mayor at the Upper Riverdale Neighborhood meeting on July 27th where we were both invited to attend and have questions asked of each of us. The second time I heard it was almost two weeks later at the 10 Living Cities Symposium when the incumbent got up and stated "If you look under the surface, you will see that we are developing a boutique city" without any further elaboration. She used the same phrase when she presented a city update to the Priority Board Chairpersons.

This phrase intrigued me. So I "Googled" the phrase and got a link to this site. I have pasted some of the wording below in case you don't want to read the entire description of what a "Boutique City" really is. I suggest that you do read it though. It horrified me!

Like aging dowagers, many cities have sought to arrest their decline by applying both a touch of rouge and some serious cosmetic surgery. This is the urban landscape of the “boutique city”—one dominated not by middle- or working class concerns, but by elite culture and the antics of celebrities, whether cultural icons, financial titans, foundation bosses, or media moguls. The boutique city is the playground of Paris Hilton and P. Diddy, as well as the assorted “masters of the universe”; it not a place with playgrounds for working-class and middle class kids. These cities are almost obsessively concerned with “coolness” and “hipness,” being “with it” and “trend-setting.” Boutique cities, like a high-end specialty merchandiser, have little use for the general run of the working and middle class, whose needs are assigned to the domain of Target, Wal-Mart and other suburban merchandisers. Indeed, if the makers of the boutique city worry about anything beside themselves, it is usually not the disappearance of this hard-working middle, but how to deal with the potential threat represented by the alienated underclass, with its potential for lethal mayhem. Many denizens of these environments do not see the city as a place that holds their commitments, but only one locale that, for a period of time or a particular season, seizes their fancy. Many are not even full-timers, instead flitting to Florida, Malibu, Palm Springs, Europe, or the Hamptons, depending on the season and their latest whims (since the 1990s, for example, the number of Manhattan residences serving as second homes has grown by as much as three-fold).

San Francisco, despite its avowedly liberal, even radical politics, is becoming a particular poster child for social inequality—a cross, in the words of historian Kevin Starr, “between Carmel and Calcutta.” The difference between African-American and white incomes in this liberal bastion, for example, is almost three times the national average.

In many cities, the shrinking of the middle class has brought about an overall drop in population. Although New York, with its large immigrant population, still enjoys slowing yet positive population growth, many other boutique cities, including some which gained population in the 1990s—such as Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago—have all lost population over the past five years. Some boosters explain this depopulation as a sign of a “qualitative” improvement in the population, a kind of genteel version of ethnic cleansing where middle and working-class families are being replaced by well-educated, affluent and
often childless households. They point to certain positive developments, such as the proliferation of upscale restaurants, art galleries, trendy shops, and architecturally pleasing hotels and condos. Yet look at what’s missing: middle-class jobs and families. Boutique cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Portland, Oregon rank among the American cities with the lowest percentages of children. In San Francisco, there are more dogs than children. And why? Extremely high housing costs and an economic environment that provides few middle-class opportunities. Since 2000, almost all these cities have produced far fewer jobs—even in the business services—than the nation as a whole or their surrounding suburbs. Put simply, all but the richest families don’t see a future that they can afford.

I can see Oakwood as a Boutique City. I can see the Oregon district becoming "Boutique" but I am disgusted that Ms. McLin wants to make Dayton a place where dogs outnumber children. Where fewer jobs cause "ethnic cleansing" and eliminate the middle and working classes. Where the income divide between African-Americans and "whites" becomes three times the national average and an elitist class determines what the underclass does.

I don't know about you but this seems to be a big slap in the face to the average union worker, the middle class businessman and any African-American who wants to live here. I want a Dayton that works. I want a Dayton that thrives and I want a Dayton where our children get the quality education that they deserve. If you agree that Dayton needs to be a place where everyone has the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to seek liberty and the pursuit of happiness, join my Grassroots Revolution and vote for the winds of change. This time, I guarantee, your vote counts.

Be Careful What You Wish For.

The Dayton Daily News just printed an article and WHIO Channel 7 just broadcast a news bulletin about how the AFL-CIO has endorsed the Democratic Party ticket. My hope was that the unions would take a neutral stance this time but I guess the frenzy over stimulus money has healed the wounds from earlier in the year. The unions had two issues with me. Obviously none had done due diligence because they are still trying to apply a "Republican" label to me as did WHIO. If they had ever read this blog, they would have seen this post from March explaining how I was offered the endorsement. They also made an issue of my decision to Home School my daughter who is reading at a third grade level and doing triple digit addition and subtraction at six years old. The following article about the performance of Dayton Public Schools was released in the same paper. While DPS scores a D on their report card my daughter gets A's. For this I should be penalized?

If I were a union member I would be more concerned with Ms. McLin going around to all the neighborhood meetings declaring that Dayton is becoming a "Boutique City." She was recently quoted in the Wall Street Journal.

In fact the journal published the following "Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin ran to the podium for her talk. "If you look under the surface, you will see that we are developing a boutique city," she said. She didn't elaborate on what she meant."

Intrigued by this term, I did what any regular guy would do and "Googled" the term "boutique city" and was not happy with what I found. I consider what she is promoting to be a slap in the face for any middle class or working class person or family who has helped get her elected these last 8 years. I will elaborate in my next post.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's All About the Delivery.

I had another run in with bad customer service. This time it was from a well respected ex-city employee. I think their issue was power to control. I'm really not too sure. Let me explain.

I attended a well established festival this weekend. I was with a neighbor, his son and my daughter. We were wearing "Elect Gary Leitzell" shirts and I had a handful of literature pieces to pass out. Within 15 minutes of our arrival we were approached by two Sheriffs deputies who politely asked us not to pass out literature. I asked them who ordered them to approach us and whether or not their request was a violation of my constitutional rights at a public festival. The festival organizer had given them the order and they didn't know whether they could legally stop me. I didn't know either because it was a public festival in a public park with paid admission.
I honored their request but made a point to have a discussion with the event organizer. The event organizer had worked for the City of Dayton for about 30 years and has done much for the city during her tenure. She is also an active member of the Democratic party. The one that has endorsed the incumbent mayor. I used to respect this person but I fear that has now changed. I mentioned that I was going to look into whether she had violated my right to pass out literature by sending two officers over to stop me. She paused for a moment and then got rather nasty. At one point she claimed that she had kicked out people "bigger" than me in the past. As if that is something to be proud of. The issue here was clearly power and control. She wanted to limit my ability to campaign at this event even if it was against the law. It turns out that they often invite candidates to attend this festival and have a booth. If I had a table then I could have passed out literature. The problem is, I was not invited. I chose to be a paying customer. The incumbent mayor was there with Commissioner Nan Whaley. I doubt that they had to pay the admission charge. They did not have a booth but I didn't notice if they had handed out any literature.

My point is this. All the event organizer had to do was come up to me herself and simply say "Gary, we have a policy that restricts you from walking around handing out literature. If you would like to pass stuff out we require you to have a booth or you could stand outside the gate where you are free to pass out anything that you want to."

The gentleman that manages the 2nd Street Market did exactly that when he saw me there two weeks ago. Very polite and very cordial, but he works for the county, not the city.

I have lived in Dayton for 15 years. This was the first time I have ever attended this event. I paid to enter the festival. Needless to say, I don't think I will ever return. If this person treated City of Dayton taxpayers or residents in this manner while she worked for the city then it is no wonder we have the problems that we do today. This way of treating people may have worked in the 1970s when Dayton was a boom town but it is obsolete in 2009. I fear that some employees are stuck in a 50 year paradigm. They have worked for the city for over 20 years and were trained by people who had been there 30 years.

If you want things to be different, if you want the paradigm to shift, you have to vote for me on November 3rd and ask everyone you know to do the same.

Monday, August 3, 2009

If You Give a Pig a Pancake .....

You can never please everybody in this life. I got this email today;


This was a response to the email that I sent out last Friday. I have posted that email below so that you can see how offensive it is.

The author of the above email works for the City of Dayton and holds a nice position. Their email address is listed on one of the City of Dayton contact information pages. It is public information. They also have the option to delete the email before they read it. My guess is that a certain person is having a bad Monday. However, this kind of customer service must stop. I am a customer of the City of Dayton and this person has forgotten that. They have also failed to realize that you only get one chance to make a first impression. When I eventually meet this person that impression has already been made. Attitude from Civil Servants drives customers away. Period!

This person could quite simply have stated the following "Mr. Leitzell, Please do not send emails to me at work." or "Please remove my email from your list."

Here was my email that prompted the reply;

Just a reminder. Three more businesses have asked to participate. They are listed below!

Gary Leitzell

City of Dayton Employee Appreciation Week August 3 – 9, 2009
In these tough economic times, I appreciate all the day-to-day hard work of our city employees. This is why I think it is a great idea to host an appreciation week. I would like to declare the week of August 3rd through August 9th as "City of Dayton Employee Appreciation Week. Wave "hello" or nod your head to our police, firefighters, emergency medical teams, waste collection workers, recreation and park personnel. To show their appreciation, the following local businesses are offering a 20% discount on meals served at their establishments to all city employees who show their City of Dayton badge. Alcohol is not included, of course!
I am sending this out to hundreds of people on my email lists. I apologize if you get this more than once. Please forward it to people in the Dayton region and all the city employees that you know. Let's show them that we appreciate their hard work.
Thank you,
Gary Leitzell

*Charlie’s Deli & Catering
Serving Old North Dayton for over 40 years
429 Troy Street, Dayton

*Slyder's Tavern
836 Watervliet, Dayton

An Explosion of Artisan Italian Ice Cream Flavors
1106 Brown St.,Dayton

*Trolley Stop
Neighborhood Tavern to the World
530 E.Fifth St. Dayton

*Uno’s Chicago Grill
Serving Downtown Dayton for over 10 Years
126 N. Main Street, Dayton

*Milano’s Atlantic City Submarines
Established 1969 (25% off)
1834 Brown St., Dayton

Top of the Market
32 Webster Street Dayton

*The Brunch Club
Voted the Best Breakfast in Dayton
601 South Main St.,Dayton

Angel Mahle
Independent Sales Rep
937-867-3711 H
937-212-8830 C