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Well, that didn’t go as planned.

Well, that didn’t go as planned.

Erica Pefferman

As I’m sure many of you know by now, I recently ran for city council in my beloved Columbia’s fourth ward and was defeated by Nick Foster by about 1,400 votes. 

I have a lot of emotions surrounding this last six months. I am grateful for my team at work for allowing me the space to pursue this. I am grateful for my family who encouraged me and sacrificed time with me so I could attend forums, council meetings, and canvas neighborhoods in the ward. I am grateful for the many people who believed in me personally and the shared vision of our city to the point they invested their money and time into my campaign. I am grateful for the people who have disagreed with me and helped inform me as they have sharpened me as a person. 

I am also really frustrated — not as a woman scorned but as an optimist and idealist. I am frustrated that we, as a city, celebrated a record high 23% voter turnout in April municipal elections which should only scream apathy at us and not be celebrated. I am frustrated that trash overshadowed major issues we have as a city that took not only a back seat but were left back on the side of the road during this race. Topics like increasing crime, race and equity issues, an alarmingly understaffed city workforce including police and fire, deferred maintenance on infrastructure costing us millions of dollars, and a power grid that was supposed to be upgraded years ago and just wasn’t were all completely ignored. Sure, the questions were politely asked in forums with one minute to outline solutions to these complex problems, but the media did not dig in and convey any of this to the community. (I was not able to legally use COMO Magazine per Missouri election ethics law as long as I was an active candidate.)

This isn’t the end for me and my involvement with council. I will use my resources to serve in the best way I can — by using my pen and my 30,000 readers. I will be sharing what I’ve learned with all of Columbia so that a lack of awareness and education can become less of an excuse for council to be able to get by without doing their jobs. I will hold this council accountable for the things I heard them promise our community. I will give them the opportunity to be a part of it, and I will do it without them if they decline to participate.

In closing, I feel like my steps were led to this and through this, so I trust that will remain the case. Thank you to everyone involved and know that I love you and, as always, I love COMO.

Erica Pefferman
Publisher

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