A month ago, I spoke with someone who offered me several tips on convincing President Barack Obama to visit Sandusky and deliver a campaign speech.
Elaine Price, Ohio’s co-chairperson for the president’s re-election campaign, told me to write a letter and show Obama why he needs to visit the area.
Here’s the exact letter I’ll mail — both snail and electronically — to Obama’s main campaign office in Chicago:
Dear Mr. President,
You need to visit Sandusky, Ohio, for a campaign stop sometime between now and November’s election.
People here need hope. They need to know their lives will improve, and that someone can help lead them.
City residents past and present, and those living in the surrounding communities, are concerned about a once-thriving region decomposing and giving in to social pressures.
As a reporter at the Sandusky Register — an award-winning, daily newspaper serving thousands of readers throughout northern Ohio — I could offer plenty of reasons why you should visit here.
But it’s probably best to let some of our local residents tell you.
Here is sampling of their responses:
Darla Chesser, a former Sandusky High School student, said this small city falls victim to big-city problems. At the forefront of Chesser’s worries is crime.
Just 14 months ago, for example, Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn was shot and killed in a late-night gunfight in our city.
Many also worry about the pressing economic issues.
Sandusky was once a Mecca for automotive production and paper products facilities. There are thousands who would like to see this city on Lake Erie flourish yet again.
Shari Veleba wants to know about your plan to protect and capitalize on the region’s greatest resource: Lake Erie.
Dawn Clark wants to know about jobs, and your plan to create good-paying, high-quality professions.
There are other pressing problems.
Lisa Marie Birmelin would like to gauge your thoughts on a cancer cluster plaguing young children in a nearby community.
I’ve worked as a newspaper reporter in this community for two years, and I love every minute of it. I also value the opinions of many in this area.
We all have concerns about the wonderful city in which we live, and we’d be honored if you’d stop by to speak at a downtown park on Washington Street.
Please let me know if you’re interested. (You might want to check out Cedar Point while you’re here, too.)
Each presidential election year the Register chooses two reporters to keep tabs on the national candidates and attempt to reel them in for a visit to our fine Northern Ohio home. This year reporter Andy Ouriel is following President Barack Obama's re-election campaign while reporter Emil Whitis gives his attention to the GOP race and probable candidate Mitt Romney. They update readers regularly on their progress in a series we call "Chasing the President."