• 14Jul

    Wow, 40… That was fast. Here are some reflections.

    Things I did right:

    1. Lisa Wojcik – Very different than me, I would suggest incompatible in many ways, my wife and friend, I love you. 16 years and counting (18 if you believe my 2012 campaign flyer…)
    2. Anastasia & Natalia – Anastasia is my driven young leader, passionate about everything. Natalia is already one of the kindest people I have ever met.
    3. Jaida – My Paws & Claws Mutt is now 14 ½. Still a wonderful friend. Still cannot be trusted, especially around food.
    4. Community Service – The pay, working conditions, and hours all suck. So glad I am doing it. I work 50 hours a week to attack problems that often don’t affect me or my family. I am seeing a city change in a way that is more inclusive and equitable. Big challenges like housing, transit, safe streets, and sustainability. Every day is hard, every year is easy.
    5. Starting my own business – It took a while, but 9 years in I have a successful business, meaningful work, and a boss that I love.
      Wonderful friends – So many of you have helped me in my daily life and in my public life. I would never have won an election or stayed in Rochester without so many of you. What surprises many people is how many friends I have both left-of-center and right-of-center. I learned I can get along with almost anyone who will but the needs of the community first.
    6. Volunteering in the schools – Just taking 1 day per week and going into the schools better connects me with my kids and the needs of youth in the community. When a Kindergartener told me that she was having a hard time learning because she didn’t have any food in her tummy, it reinforced what I am doing in the community.
    7. Hosting an exchange student – A fantastic opportunity to personally learn about a culture, but also have my girls learn. We loved hosting you for a year, Josefina, and hope to see you soon.

    Things I did wrong:

    1. Too much time in jobs I didn’t like. 7 years in technology hoping for the job to get better. It never did. I did myself a disservice, and those I was working with.
    2. Chose a home not a neighborhood – Dual Income / No kids – we built a fabulous home, but without thinking about the neighborhood. My values would now have me choose a neighborhood first, and then a home. We are fortunate to be where we are, but neighborhoods have diverse peoples, businesses, and special places.
    3. Not enough time for friends – This is hard. Some weeks I work 80+ hours between my business and city work (along with some occasional teaching gigs). Too often I lose touch with some of the finest people I have known. Then too quickly they move, become distant, or pass away. I wish I could be a better friend.
    4. Glacier National Park – That’s right. Don’t get me wrong Glacier is amazing, but I am an addict. Because I have always been so in love with Glacier I missed opportunities to go new places. Visit all the National Parks but save Glacier for last…

    Some goals for my 40s:

    1. Live a life that is interesting.
    2. Frequent trips with the entire family or friends or wife or kids or solo.
    3. Run for a different office. Which one? I dunno, but local since that is the highest level of government.
    4. Earn a PhD. In what? I dunno, but there will be lots of numbers.
    5. Visit more interesting places. Visit the 3 states I have not yet visited. Set foot in 25 or so new countries. Do more hiking, biking, and exploring. Go to places like Katmandu, Timbuktu, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat, Torres del Paine, Milford Sound, and on.
    6. Safe connections for children in my community – I have never forgotten the young girl who died because our community didn’t provide safe connections. I will continue to change this.
    7. Develop Social Skills? Nah…

    Tags:

  • 05Mar

    I am excited to take 2 continuing education course prior to the Nation League of Cities in Washington DC. Today I am in a full day course on Urban Planning (on of my passions). This program is being put on

    I hope to bring this course to Rochester in conjunction with the comprehensive plan update.

    ULI Urban Plan

    Rose Center for Public Leadership

    Tomorrow I am in a half day course on building a creative city. Here are some materials I was sent to study in advance of that session. If you are interested in how you build a thriving creative city, you might enjoy reading these materials:

    The Real Source of America’s Urban Revival

    The Winners & Losers of Economic Clustering – Richard Florida

    The Future of the American City – Financial Times

    Cities must be Cool, Creative, and in Control – Michael Bloomberg

    Creative Talent – The Guardian

    Back to the City – Harvard Business Review

    Tags:

  • 28Dec

    As 2015 comes to an end please consider supporting my 2016 campaign for Rochester City Council Ward 2.

    Go to votewojcik.org and click in the upper Right Hand Corner “Donate Now”

    OR Send a check to:

    Wojcik for Rochester

    984 Fox Knoll Dr. SW

    Rochester, MN 55902

    2015 campaign limits:

    • $250 per person
    • $100 per person – Anonymous in reporting

    2016 campaign limits

    • $600 per person
    • $100 per person – Anonymous in reporting

    Who is Michael Wojcik:

    • Husband, Father of 2 daughters, Host for foreign exchange student
    • Small business owner providing financial services to churches & nonprofits
    • Extensive education including Masters of Electrical Engineering & MBA from the University of Minnesota, CFA Level III Exam
    • Continuing education in Finance, Technology, Community & Economic Development, and Local Government
    • Areas of expertise include: Government Finance, Public Utilities, Energy, Environment, Transportation, Community Development, and Public Arts
    • National roles: National Chair, NLC Community & Economic Development Board, NLC Board of Directors, ULI Healthy Corridors National Task Force.
    • Rochester resident since 1999
    • Enjoys: Travel, Backpacking, Biking, Soccer, Arts, Craft Beer

    Why we are starting our campaign now:

    • Be prepared, build new website (pretty much untouched in 3 years), prepare new campaign materials
    • 2012 experience of opponent violating campaign finance law – initiating significant campaign spending without filing finance report
    • 2012 experience of opponent using solar panel litigation against my family (we eventually won this frivolous lawsuit)
    • Focus on personal conversations during busy campaign season

    What we have been able to do since 2008:

    • Historically low crime rates in Rochester: (Personally involved is shutting down human trafficking operation on 2nd street SW despite threats from a local attorney)
    • Minnesota’s first Complete Streets policy requiring staff to consider needs of all road users
    • Booming economy with low unemployment and high job growth
    • Improved safety for all road users including bicyclists and pedestrians
    • Stronger neighborhood associations with the ability to influence policy
    • Reinvestment in the Uptown district
    • Development of Cascade Lake park
    • Fix environmental degradation of drainage ways
    • Implemented independant “Ethical Practices Board”
    • Initiated revision of 40 year old comprehensive plan
    • Removed local barriers for craft brewing industry

    What we continue to work on and hope to achieve going forward

    • A financially, socially, and environmentally sustainable Rochester
    • Significantly enhanced high quality affordable housing development
    • Improved public transportation hours and effectiveness, serve needs of nonprofits & schools
    • Municipal broadband offering world class connections at affordable prices for families and businesses
    • A world class St. Marys Place that is inviting and safe for pedestrians, transit, local businesses, and neighborhoods
    • Invest in Public Library space to meed surging community demand
    • Continued reinvestment in downtown Rochester

    First of all many of you reading this have lent me support for years and I want to once again say thank you. In 2016, I will once again file to run for the Rochester City Council, Ward 2. As I have stated for years, I do not enjoy the position, but I find it to be both critically important and rewarding. There will come a time where I will choose to step aside and let younger talent take my place

     

     

  • 06Nov

    Ok this was pretty funny.  An email chain drew the attention of a staff member or two and how it happened is pretty funny.

    Typically I have one or two quotes that I find to be inspirational after the signature at the bottom of my emails.  Currently there are two.

    “No one is big enough to be independent of others” – Dr. Will Mayo

    and

    “Take care of God’s creation. But above all, take care of people in need.” – Pope Francis

    Hopefully these are pretty non-controversial and speak to shared values in our community.  However do to a part of some email chain being cut off the last quote appeared like this.

    f people in need.” – Pope Francis

    Oops.  As one staff member suggested.

    Fortunately that is not my signature line, and I am pretty sure that quote goes against everything Pope Francis stands for.

    So I would like to apologize for my role in falsely suggesting that Pope Francis doesn’t care for people in need.  I hope I don’t get excommunicated.

    Tags:

  • 06Dec

    As always, I believe in transparency and publish my expense reports so the public can see how I am spending their money.  I am happy to do this because when I travel on city business I do so in a frugal manner.  These expenses were from the National League of Cities in Seattle.  Since I have been elected, I invest heavily in education but ALWAYS spend less each year than the entitled benefits that I give back to the city.

     photo ScreenShot2013-12-06at112456AM_zps2aeb2395.png

    Tags: , ,

  • 02Apr

    Dear friends, supporters, and people that mearly tolorate me. This is one of the toughest notes that I have ever written. After a great deal of soul searching, discussion with family, and some hard rationalizations with really smart people, we are suspending our campaign for city council president.

    Randy Staver is a friend, a person of outstanding character, and a devoted civil servant, and he will be a great city council president with me as his #1 supporter. To continue my camapign would be a disservice to the City of Rochester and a violation of the oath that I took.  On March 19, 9 of every 10 voters in Rochester stayed home.  The same turnout or worse will happen on May 7th.

    By continuing my campaign I would remove the ability of Randy and I to tend fully to the needs of the city for another month and a half.  Right now we are in critical need of strong local leadership to make Destination Medical Center a success for the entire community and do so while preserving good government.  This decision will allow me to lead on this issue.

    Many of you will be disappointed.  I am.  Many of you would have worked yourself to the bone had I asked, I am so thankful for that.  The most likely path to win the city council president seat would have been a scorched earth negative campaign.  I would not do that, and I certainly would not do that to a friend.  While there are some issues where we disagree, Randy and I work well together and will continue to do so.

    One thing that will not change is my committment to neighborhoods and key issues.  I will continue to work to address the affordable housing crisis in Rochester.  Better transportation is coming.  We will not turn our back on partnerships to help homeless or struggling youth.  Our suburban sprawl must stop.  Rochester must respect the total equality and inherant worth of all our friends and neighbors.  Wasting money to subsidize shortsighted pet projects of a few well connected individuals must stop.  We must reinvest in blighted, underperforming neighborhoods.

    None of you will agree with everything I say and do, but hopefully you will continue to have meaningful interactions with me.  I will continue to strive to be the hardest working person in local government.  I will continue execute independant thought and attempt to make decisions ensure the continued greatness of Rochester for generations to come.

    Unfortunately this foolish election will go on.  We must adopt Ranked Choice Voting as a community and end the wasteful process of never ending elections.

    Thank you.

    Michael

     

     

    Tags:

  • 14Mar

    KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

    Tags:

  • 12Mar

    Here is our March 19 radio ad!

    What do you think? It costs money to do this, so please consider a contribution at votewojcik.org

    Thank you for your support and your vote on March 19!

    Tags: ,

  • 15Feb

    Here is one of the places where I grew up. It’s called the Birch Lane Trailor Court, located in Hibbing, MN. Its not a great place. Living there I had no access to education facilities, transit, arts & culture, parks or play areas, or other services that make a community livable and great. Living in a place like this is like living under house arrest. This “affordable” housing was anything but. The high costs of energy, maintenance, and automobile orientation, in a location like this serves to keep poor people poor.

    I know we can do better by building real affordable housing in real affordable neighborhoods. I know there probably aren’t any other kids from the Birch Lane Trailor Court that are in a position to address these types of concerns, but so long as I live, this experience and my committment to affordable housing will never leave me.


    View Larger Map

    Tags:

  • 03Feb

    No big secret here. I just worked really hard. Here are the shoes that I wore out. Some of my volunteers did the same.

     photo IMG_2230_zps22ca8af0.jpg

    Tags: ,

« Previous Entries