Campaigning is about relationships

Several months ago, my friend Nick Charney messaged me to ask when he could come down to visit next. Being in full campaign mode, finding time before the election was impossible. His response symbolized our friendship.

“Thats exactly why I want to come. To help you campaign and win this seat. Richmond needs you on City Council.”

Its amazing to think about the people I have met along my seven year journey of innovating government. Here is a guy I first heard speak at the first Next Generation of Government Summit in 2010 that has visited me in Richmond every year since. Over the years we have shared many difficult conversations about life, family, work, politics, and the world. What has always been a strong bond in our friendship has been our commitment to make the world around us stronger, better, and equal. To hear that Nick was willing to spend his precious vacation time away from work and his family, to drive all-day from Ottawa Canada to visit Richmond to come help me work was humbling and an honor. This is exactly what makes the hard work worthwhile in the draining grind of running for office. The overwhelming support from those that know me best.

Nicks’ visit to Richmond last year.

The following are Nick’s words about this week in Richmond.


I met Andreas 7 years ago at a conference in Washington DC and was immediately drawn to his larger than life presence. We quickly bonded over shared values: the importance of hard work, a dedication to public service, and a passion for helping others solve their most pressing problems.

We worked in similar fields — public sector innovation — and traded notes frequently. As our friendship grew so too did my love of Richmond. I’ve made it a point to visit the city on a yearly basis since I first met Andreas. I’ve introduced my friends to the city, my wife, and one day hope to bring my two children. I’ve gotten to know this place, make friends here, and learn about the important issues facing the city: improving its schools, ensuring quality services for its neighborhoods, and increasing government accountability at City Hall.

One of the things that sets Andreas apart for me is his visceral understanding of the importance of good political leadership at City Hall. His work inside for the city gives him the practical experience required to be a successful political leader and drive meaningful change for the city. His willingness to leave that job to run for office is a testament to depth of that understanding. In short, Andreas knows what works, what doesn’t and how to bring that experience to bare to work with others, set priorities, and execute against them in a meaningful way.

His dedication to Richmond is unwavering; so too has been his dedication to our friendship. That dedication is why I chose to support Andreas’s campaign. It’s why I took a week vacation from my job up in Canada — leaving my loving wife to care for our children while I’m away — and drove over 600 miles down to Richmond to spend a week supporting my friend, your 1st District candidate, and the future of the great City of Richmond. I’m looking forward to meeting you at your door when I’m out canvassing with Andreas, at community forums, and fundraising events; and I hope you’ll vote Addison on November 8th.

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