Can Blogging Influence an Election? We Vote YES!
65 votes difference is all that is reported by the Warren County Board of Elections this morning for yesterday's Little Miami School District Levy. After EIGHT straight rejections and the school control being assumed by the state until the budget is back in order! Hallelujah, the levy passed, just a matter of time until LOCAL control is back!
It's been a bitter battle for the last few years and you could argue many factors and divisions: rural vs. subdivisions, fixed budgets vs. affluent, long time residents vs. newbies. And the elections kept failing. Last March it was close, just 121 votes shy of finally passing.
Now we usually don't delve into the political with our blogging, but sometimes real estate and politics overlap. We've done quite a bit of business in the Little Miami School District over the years, both sellers and buyers. We noticed the home values falling, buyers more hesitant to investigate the district, so we dug deep into Cincinnati MLS and published our analysis of the Little Miami School district home values. We also did the same analysis for neighboring Warren County School Districts, and the truth was abrupt and rude. Little Miami home values were getting absolutely HAMMERED while the neighboring districts without levy turmoil were fully recovering.
Now we didn't really expect anything out of that post other than getting the information out there, and hoping rational voters would appreciate the info. We know homeowners all want to know market report data, so maybe we'd get a call or two, maybe not. Every post is a calculated gamble isn't it?
What we didn't anticipate? That is wouldn't be the consumers reaching out to us, but a different source! First it started with an AP reporter for the Cincy magazine. A short phone interview and we got a short paragraph in an article about the Little Miami School levy fight. Not huge, but our first mass media publication, and blogging paved the way.
But between the interview and publication of the article, the head of the pro-levy committee found us and reached out. He asked for permission to use our analysis on home values for mailings and talking points during meetings with voters. They needed concrete data to sway the voters. Of course we agreed! We want the school situation to resolve for the kids sake AND for home values to start recovering! Here's a copy of the postcard the pro-levy group sent out incorporating our analysis:
Further, we'd also sent a blog post link to one of the community papers a couple of weeks ago and got a nice surprise when one of our past clients emailed us for taking a stand on the issue! Huh? "Well you've got a big article in the Pulse-Journal!" Published November 3rd under the title "Look Who's Backing School Levy", about 2/3 of the article was straight from our blog, with lots of mention of us!
Now can we know for sure that we helped shift the tide? No, we won't be that presumptuous. But we do know that we helped get some key facts out to the public, and straight from the pro-levy leader, that our concrete data was crucial for talking the issue of Home Values, one of the key components of the push for passing the levy.
Now did we potentially lose some home sellers for the area? Perhaps. With 50% of the voters against the levy, we know our stand and help on the levy passage might not be popular with them. On the other hand, if this problem wasn't fixed soon, trying to sell a home in the school district was going to become a moot point. We'll take our chances with having done what we think is the right thing.
The more we blog, the more powerful we discover the medium can be!
Keep on Blogging!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz
P.S. If blogging can do this for an election, do you think it can help sell your home? It can sway the buyers to take a look!