Reflecting on the Torrance City Council Election

Torrance Election Results (Source: LA County Registrar)
Torrance Election Results (Source: LA County Registrar)

Today I can proudly say that my friend, Tim Goodrich was elected to the Torrance City Council on June 3rd, 2014 (though officially the votes weren’t tallied until June 4th — I know I waited up to see them). I am even more proud to say that I was a crucial part of his success.

He came in second place, of the four council members elected, with 7,976 votes which comes out to roughly twelve percent of the voting electorate. We beat an appointed incumbent by roughly 600 votes.

I have never been prouder or felt more gratification than from seeing Tim’s name jump to second place when refreshed on the screen of the LA County Registrar’s website.

The adrenaline was unlike anything, even jiu jitsu. During the campaign, the daily rituals are grueling. Making phone calls, walking in unfamiliar neighborhoods, knocking on doors to mixed responses, calling and recruiting volunteers, planning events, etc. You almost don’t have time for a moment to take it all in.

And yet, it all comes flashing back like lightning as we were waiting for the initial projections that night at Tim’s house. His abode filled with people, food, and drinks, all of them mingling with an anxious feeling in the air. The mood was positive but pensive. When the first projections came up Tim was in 4th place. This terrified me and relieved me simultaneously. I could breath a sigh of relief because he had made the cutoff and was going to be elected to city council. The only factor was for how long. Had he placed fourth as the initial projections showed, he would have had to start running for reelection in the next year.

As the night wore on, people filtered out. However, a second wave of people came to pay their respects. Policemen, city commissioners, other officials, all came to congratulate Tim on the effort.  By the end of the night we had jumped to third place, and finally to second — where we finished.

I started on the campaign as a volunteer. I remember Tim asked me to donate $100 dollars because that’s the extent to which he thought I was interested in participating. Little did he know within a few months I would be managing his campaign. I did donate the money, but more importantly I quickly integrated myself into the routines of the campaign. At one point I realized volunteer was an insufficient title and I asked Tim what I ought to call myself when contacting constituents or other volunteers. I was initially given the title of Field Director. After another month or so I was at a Pho restaurant, Saigon Dish in Hawthorne, with Tim and his wife Meav when Tim surprised me by asking if I wanted to be the campaign manager. I was humbled, and extremely grateful for the opportunity. I took him up on it and even cut down on the frequency with which I attended jiu jitsu. Anyone who knows me would understand this as an immeasurable sacrifice.

As a campaign manager I got to work with phenomenal volunteers, (Will, Lindy, Alonso and so many more) who I became close with. We worked, we laughed, we sat in suspense together waiting for the results. It was a beautiful process and I could not be happier with the results.

There is so much that goes into a campaign and so many people to thank for the success. This victory is not so much Tim’s victory, or even my own, so much as it is a victory for collective action and for the people of the city of Torrance.

I am extremely proud of this endeavor and look forward to seeing Tim lead in the city of Torrance.

 

Torrance Election Graph (Source: LA County Registrar)
Torrance Election Graph (Source: LA County Registrar)