|Elk Grove mayoral candidate Lynn Wheat (standing) discusses the city's |
expansion plans with a group of young voters.
If the road to becoming Elk Grove's first directly elected mayor pans out for Lynn Wheat, it is a good chance it will have led through one-on-one campaigning in local coffeehouses and asking for referrals.
Wheat, one of six candidates for mayor, has eschewed all the usual local campaign trappings and has said she will personally limit her campaign spending to $1,000 and will not accept donations. Wheat has also made local campaign financing reform one of her campaign issues.
To this end Wheat held her second no-host coffeehouse meeting in less than a week and invited voters last night to discuss issues at the Starbucks on Laguana Blvd. As with the meeting Wheat held last Saturday, those attending were asked to bring guests.
Typical of those attending was a longtime friend of Wheat's, Connie Bellos. A 22-year resident of Elk Grove, Bellos brought two acquaintances, Cecilia Kumar and Lynn Macias.
After discussing the issues facing the city, all three said they agreed with Wheat's assessment that the sphere of influence (SOI) application, which would increase the size of Elk Grove by over 12 square miles, would be bad for existing homeowners saying it would further erode property values. They also agreed the city needs a change in leadership.
"Everything she said really makes sense to me," Macias said. "I think she has the right priorities."
Although Kumar said she would research all the candidates before making a final decision on who she will vote for, she did agree with Wheat's stance on not taking campaign contributions. "I like that she is not taking contributions," she noted.
Aside from talking with people who came to the gathering, Wheat also spoke to the store's patron. Among those she spoke with was a group of five young voters.
The group of two women and three men all said they appreciated Wheat reaching out to them and liked learning about issues facing Elk Grove.
"She has a great love for the town of Elk Grove," UC Santa Barbara student Alex Nguyen said. "That is a very important factor for me."
Wheat said she was pleased with the contacts she made and is heartened to see the interest people are taking in the city's SOI plans.
"I am really encouraged that they want to listen and know more about it," Wheat said. "The more they find out about it, the less they like it."
Abdualai Turay, a Cosumnes River College student and one of the young voters Wheat spoke to said he was impressed that Wheat is a Registered Nurse and that she is passionate about the issues.
"What she said really resonates," he added.