The Grassroots

Some people, but not a lot of people, keep asking me how much money I’ve raised.  This is typically followed by, “you know that ‘so and so’ has raised ‘this and such.'”

I know about “so and so” and I know about all of their “this and such.”

My response to these folks is I wonder if they know, or if “so and so” knows, how many relationships my Team brings to the table.  I wonder if they know about all of the pro bono work and gratis rentals we have received already, and are slotted to receive, as a result of our friendships.  I wonder if they know about the top media and branding teams in the city working extra hours for Team Moroski.  I wonder if they know about the lowest of the low-income hitting the pavement to get a guy in office who they know will serve as a voice for them.  I wonder.

I am not an idealist.  I realize campaigns cost money.  I also realize that we threw our hat in the ring later than most, but that we also have more signs, buttons, stickers, coasters and koozies floating around town.  It is a daily occurrence nowadays that someone will stop me on the street and say, “ok, I have to ask, who IS this Mike guy?”  “I am!”  I respond.  Then we chat, and then we walk away happy that we met.

Simple.  Grassroots.

My entire adult life has been spent at the grassroots level, and I have seen great success & received humbling accolades – I see no reason to leave the grassroots now.  Our grassroots campaign is taking off – and I know you can feel it.  Yes, we need money, but I sometimes feel that politicians become jaded and lose the trust they once had in the voters.  Oftentimes, but not all the time, endorsements are given to candidates with the most money, but the most money does not always win.  Oftentimes, but not all the time, there is a disconnect between the politician and the voter – or the voter’s political party and the voter.  Voters are not stupid.  Voters are not easily won over.  Voters are people.  And people like people.  Good news is, I LOVE people.

And I LOVE the grassroots.

I have led crews of unskilled teenagers, with very little money, on affordable housing rehab projects in Over-the-Rhine.  The buildings are now occupied by low-income residents in OTR.

I co-founded, as an English teacher, a not-for-profit business with a homeless man.  We won the Nobel Prize for Public Service, The Jefferson Award.

I took 12 students down to the Marianist House on Findlay Street many, many years ago because I had an idea for a service learning group.  The group became MACH 1, and was the region’s largest, consistent teenage volunteer corps for many years.

I was asked, at Cafe DeSales, in 2011 to help a woman named Libby with her new idea.  That idea has become WordPlay Cincy.

I led a team, guided by The University of Notre Dame’s business school, to develop a more cost-effective model for Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that would also provide a more efficient delivery of services for the students.  The proposal was accepted by the Archdiocese and Purcell Marian is on track to be financially solvent so that it can continue being the best Catholic High School in the city.

I have designed many simple and fun ways to support nonprofits by receiving a little “something” back – e.g., the Park + Vine giveaway – anyone who followed @WordPlayCincy on Twitter for a period of time was eligible to win a free Park + Vine gift card.  This may seem like a gimmick, but out of all the new followers we garnered, some of them became tutors at WordPlay and are changing children’s lives.

One thing all of these projects have in common?  They all had little, or NO, money at all.  One more thing they had in common?  They all proved successful and CHANGED LIVES.

Our campaign WILL be successful, we WILL be victorious in November, and we WILL change lives.

So, we are keeping to grassroots, but we are also seeking any and all influxes of cash.  You do NOT have to give a minimum of $50 – as we realize MANY who already support our campaign are sacrificing to donate $5 – and we truly, dearly appreciate that $5.  Thank you.

If you would like to donate on this site, feel free to do so.  There will be plenty of fundraisers and house parties coming up soon, so stay tuned – but for now, Open Mike Nights and Community Councils are feeling pretty good.

The grass is quite green this time of year.  That’s because the roots are getting the water they need.  The grassroots are strong and ready for a long summer.

We will keep watering the grass – it’s going to be pretty high soon, but I promise you that it won’t be able to be cut down.

(Note – the man above, Andre, is a longtime brother of mine.  He lived next door to Choices Cafe for the five years that Mike Rogers and I ran the shop.  He and I have spent many an evening on the corner of 15th and Elm talking about life.  I feel blessed to have Andre in my corner.  He now sells Article 25 newspapers outside of Coffee Emporium nearly every morning.  Stop by and tell him your sign – but only if you have about 20 minutes to spare.  Trust me, the 20 minutes are worth it, and probably more important than anywhere else you need to be.  Mark my words)

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