In response to George Koesters' wish list letter in The Times Dec. 22, I have compiled a list of potential qualities that I would like a candidate to possess before and after the election. These might seem very cliche because rarely will any candidate before their election speak about doing these things, or continue to do them after their election. Perhaps 1 in 1,000 elected officials might do these things.
Visit or campaign the areas where their nameless constituents reside, and not just where their donors live.
Have a strong background in community partnerships, philanthropic service and personal responsibility to their family. This should almost be a requirement.
Be able to present practical ideas and derive logical solutions to problems for the now, for the future and to prevent the past from reoccurring.
A candidate should genuinely care about the office they are seeking to fill, and not just the clout gained from its title or power.
Keep a constant channel of contact open for everyday citizens to contact them, and respond in a timely fashion. Not an intermediary, but a direct line of communication. The elected official is there to serve, not their secretaries. This could be as simple as a direct email address, nonpersonal cellphone or simple office hours.
Visit schools, churches, nonprofit organizations and other workplaces around their district to simply show their face and get to know the people they are representing.
A candidate should be very apt to learn their usefulness as an elected official and make efforts to pitch in whenever a cause calls for them.
A candidate should embrace their uniqueness. Not every politician needs to be prim and proper. Shake things up a bit every now and then. It keeps people engaged and interested.
A candidate doesn't necessarily need to be well spoken, but should always be prepared to speak the right words at the right time.
A candidate should reach out to constituents through as many mediums as possible to gain feedback over legislation and other important workings that their office is involved with.
A candidate should also be able to establish their self as the must-have choice with very little effort. In essence, letting your actions speak for your name.
Perhaps 2012 will bring about some new changes to the types of people running for office.