If you want to reach York City voters, go to where they are.
That’s the approach Anne Clark is taking this week, stopping at six local hotspots over four days to tell people about her campaign for York City Council.
During a stop at Central Market on Wednesday, Clark said she met at least 100 people, not only trying to swing them to support her in the May 16 primary election but to learn about the issues that matter to York City residents.
“People feel more comfortable when you come to where they are,” Clark said, noting the conversations she’s had on the campaign trail have some of the most “authentic” conversations she’s ever had. “I’ve always gone to things, and I’ve always participated, but this is different. This is a much more raw conversation than I’ve had in the past.”
Beginning Tuesday, candidates were allowed to begin circulating nomination petitions to appear on the ballot in May. Candidates must obtain 100 signatures from city residents who are eligible to vote, but Clark said she wants to have 300 by Wednesday.
Already this week, Clark has taken her petitions to meet-and-greets at The Steak Out, Central Family Restaurant and Central Market and the Adopt-a-Block program of the York Regional Dream Center.
On Friday, Clark visit the I-ron-ic art gallery at 5 p.m. and New Grounds Roasting Company at 6 p.m.
Clark said she decided to gather her own signatures for the first few days so she can speak with potential voters about their concerns, while sharing some of her own with them.
“I really want to get the majority of the signatures myself,” Clark said. “I want people to see who I am, and I want them to know I’m not just trying to get signatures.”
To be elected to the York City Council, Clark will have to unseat one of three incumbents running for re-election. Council members Henry Nixon, Renee Nelson and Judy Ritter-Dickson have all announced campaigns to keep their seats.
While trying to gather petition signatures this week, Clark said she has received a “very positive” response from those she has talked to. Though many feel the city has accomplished a lot in the last few years, Clark said voters are still looking for “new faces in leadership.”
Starting out at something of a disadvantage against her incumbent opponents, Clark said she will make effort to land a seat on the council and is getting out early to make her mark.
Clark serves as the community outreach director for Lincoln Charter School, and she said she only knows “one speed” — getting out and meeting people.
No matter the outcome of the primary election, Clark said she doesn’t want to give herself any reason to think she could have done more.
“I want to be aggressive early so that I can really enjoy the opportunity,” Clark said. “I don’t want to feel like I could have talked to one more person or I could have went to one more meeting.”