One of the cornerstones of Republican Congressional candidate Jeff Takada’s campaign is accountability to his constituents.
And with the help of technology, the East Union High grad and professional educator thinks that he has the perfect way to do just that – revolutionizing the idea of the “Fireside Chat” made famous by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during The Great Depression.
On Sunday, Takada will launch a portal on his campaign website that will allow anybody to enter into a digital town hall like forum where they’ll be able to ask questions about how he plans to fix many of the issues he feels is broken in the modern political machine and interact in a way that will literally bring the entire 11th congressional district together in one place.
The digital forum, he says, will be the start of bi-monthly on-line meetings where he hopes to gain a better understanding of the problems facing the people he hopes to represent on Capitol Hill.
“In this day and age the Internet is a great equalizer – it will allow people from Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Ripon, Escalon, Manteca, and all of the 11th Congressional District to be in the same place at the same time, and I’m hoping that it’ll allow all of those people to express the concerns they have about a government that is failing them,” said Takada – who was known as Jeff Wells during his time at East Union. “I’m fortunate to have one of the best tech guys in the entire county in Jeremy Hannon, and with this idea we hope to bring people together to express how they feel.”
It was while brainstorming ways to maximize his exposure that Takada’s campaign first came up with the concept, initially ruling out the telephone-based town hall meetings that current Representative Jerry McNerney uses – feeling they were impersonal.
But expanding on the idea and the ever-growing medium of the World Wide Web, the campaign took the idea a digital question-and-answer session – partly incorporated into the Republican Presidential debate that was sponsored by YouTube and featured questions submitted via the Internet – to a whole new level.
Participants only need an Internet connection and a computer to take part, and modern computers equipped with web-cams and microphones will allow for face-to-face interaction between the candidate and those who have questions for him.
“Jerry McNerney is not representing the people of this congressional district the way that he should be,” said Takada – who is running a campaign based on restoring traditional Constitutional values such as personal liberty and a true fiscal conservative sense that he believes will shrink the ever-mounting Federal deficit and right the current economic crisis. “He puts on a good Dog and Pony Show, but there’s nothing of real substance in what it is that he’s doing. Hopefully this idea will change that, and when I win in November, it’ll be a way that people can inform their Representative of the issues they feel are pressing.
“This isn’t all about me talking – it’s a chance for me to listen.”
The digital forum will begin on Sunday at 6 p.m. on Takada’s campaign website – www.takada2010.com. A special tab will appear shortly before the event begins allowing people to access the Skype-like program that he plans on using on the 1st and the 15th of every month.
Takada will also host a traditional town hall meeting on Friday at Kelley Brothers at 6 p.m. that is open to everyone in the district to attend.