A chat with Political Consultant Mary Jo Rossi Ahead of 2020 Elections
Jun 29th, 2020 by Contra Costa Today
On this episode, I chat with political consultant Mary Jo Rossi of Rossi Communications ahead of the 2020 election as candidates begin to announce. She provides both some advice and we talk needing to raise the bar locally in Contra Costa with elected officials.
- 01:04 – Intro, who is Mary Jo Rossi?
- 03:03 – Rossi explains we need people who want to raise the bar and lead with high standards and courage.
- 03:55 – How will COVID-19 have on the November election and how will candidates be able to fund raise and get in front of people.
- 05:49 – COVID-19 has highlighted who leaders are versus those who are reactionary. Rossi argues we do not have creative individuals in government. We need to begin attracting really smart, creative people to government and looking at the system of government.
- 09:15 – Rossi explains what she thinks of elected officials right now.
- 12:45 – For those considering running for public office in 2020, what do you focus on and what do you ignore right now?
- 16:14 – I suggest this fall, the focus should be on economic development to ensure businesses stay open.
- 22:00 – I argue how the public should demand the bar be raised by elected officials’ actions. We also get into how Facebook commentary is misleading. Rossi also gets into how young people need to vote.
- 24:30 – We look at the past election and how close they were. Upcoming elections with districts and how every vote will count in Antioch, Brentwood, Concord, Martinez, etc.
- 26:44 – Should we throw them all out of Sacramento? Rossi argues “who are we getting in return”? We need people who do not care if they get re-elected. Do the best job possible. We get into Senator Bill Dodd, Assemblymemebers Tim Grayson and Jim Frazier.
- 31:28 – With leadership, Contra Costa County does not have good benches for people to learn how to serve. How do we better prepare people to be elected officials with some experience?
- 35:20 – is Coffee with the Mayor or councilperson enough to get a real perspective of the community? She talks about the insiders (opinion leaders) and everybody else. Elected leaders need to understand the difference. She also says people who will speak their minds, like Ken Turnage II.
- 41:10 – Rossi brings up we are all just talking about racism right now, but what is actually happening and how does the conversation move forward. We get into how defund the police is a bad concept and slogan. These are conversations you have with the police department, not in attack mode which divides the community. She gets into local leaders who are dividing the community such as Lamar Thorpe and Karen Rarey. I argue District Attorney Diana Becton is a divider because she is not leading on behalf of the county.
- 49:50 – We get into how Supervisor John Gioia is a reactionist with an opinion, but no one else is speaking up. Rossi credits Gioia for at least giving an opinion, most will not.
- 53:30 – The need to have a plan if you want to run or get reelected. We also need to recruit good people because we are losing good people who have done this for years. Rossi argues we need smart people to run and win to buck the system. She highlights how 1/10 of what you do is at a city council meeting.
- 01:02:20 – I get into the need to raise the bar in the Nov. 2020 election with strong candidates. Rossi argues the bar can be raised, but the system doesn’t attract better people. We also get into the year Antioch has just spent talking about the homeless. The county placing homeless services at Antioch/Pittsburg border, project is in purgatory.
- 1:07:25 – We get into inactivity in Concord with the Concord Naval Weapon Station land.
- 1:08:20 – Have a plan, principals, do not pander if you are considering running for office. Rossi says know why you are running.