Tag Archives: Vince Morgan

Morgan for Harlem. Third time’s a charm.

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The politico bug has bitten me again.

This time its a local race.

But the candidate is the same.

Vince Morgan.

If you’re not in the know, then you’re unaware that I’ve been the Digital Czar for Vince Morgan’s previous congressional campaigns.

Vince Morgan is a former banker turned political aspirant, who has staked his claim on the revitalization of Harlem.

Although unsuccessful in his two previous bids to dethrone Charlie Rangel, he remains committed to building a better Harlem.

In fact, his campaign slogan “Building Harlem Together” speaks to this commitment.

For over a year, he has been waging a one-man campaign to force Columbia University to live up to it’s obligation to confer over $2 billion in jobs, money and benefits to residents of Harlem.

This obligation stems from a Community Benefits Agreement Columbia (CBA) signed in 2009.

In exchange for the right to build on 17 acres of land acquired through (a questionable) imminent domain process, Columbia agreed to a number of commitments.

These commitments were meant to redress the grievances of the community to Columbia’s expansion in Harlem.

And while the current city council member, Inez Dickens, is effectively sitting on her hands, and
Columbia reneges on these commitments, Vince Morgan is going to bat for Harlem.

Since he began his crusade, there has been an investigation into allegations of self-dealing and conflict of interest with the West Harlem Development Corporation (the organization charged with oversight of the CBA).

Recently, his efforts have forced Columbia to turn over records to demonstrate that they’ve met MWBE hiring goals, after he exposed the fact that Columbia shut out minority architects from participating in the redevelopment project.

While current elected officials sit idly by, during one of the worst recessions most of us have ever witnessed, Vince Morgan has been activitely pushing to make Columbia make good on it’s contractual obligations.

No longer content to let the powers that be further shirk their responsibilities, he’s (once again) throwing his hat into the ring.

On Monday, he launched his campaign for City Council, with a video highlighting this issue.

Quietly, he has relaunched his website and revamped all his social media profiles.

On February 28, 2013, he is hosting his first fundraiser at the Les Ambassades on Lenox Avenue.

Slowly but surely, he’s building a groundswell.

His campaign team, Team Morgan, is staffed by a bunch of veterans, who know what it takes to get him elected.

And as everyone knows, its a numbers game.

The strategy is simple: by election day, make sure that folks who enter the voting booth are more familiar with Vince Morgan’s name, than that of any other candidate (incumbent and newcomer alike).

And while the goal is the same: get Vince elected, this time, it feels different.

My desires are not altogether altruistic.

I would (selfishly) like the bragging rights of getting someone elected.

But, this time it just feels right.

Anyway, come election day, we’ll see whether my intuition served me well.

Or whether it was just wishful thinking.

But as they say, the third times a charm!

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How Do You Dethrone Charles Rangel? Guerilla Style. Welcome to Team Morgan!

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Vince Morgan looking dapper at our lunch meeting at Settepani.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been working with Vincent Morgan and his campaign to become the next Congressman for the 15th District of New York, a seat currently occupied by Charles Rangel.

In 2010, we ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Rangel, who was in the midst of an ethics investigation, and perhaps more vulnerable than he had ever been in his 40 years on office.

Although we ran a smart race, we did things the traditional way, and were very careful not to say anything too polarizing or controversial about Mr. Rangel.

We wanted Vince to be the focus of our efforts and not Mr. Rangel, who everyone else seemed to be gunning for.

We are now, once again, in an election cycle, and with an election under our belt, we feel confident that the results will be different, this time around.

Why?

Well for one, it’s a presidential election year. People typically turn out to vote in greater numbers when the president is on the bill. In the last primary election, Rangel won with less than 20,000 votes. In a District with over 200,000 registered Democrats, that screams apathy. It says that folks weren’t particularly interested in the race OR that they weren’t interested enough to vote for Rangel OR that they believed that Rangel’s re-election was a foregone conclusion. Whatever the case the last time around, this year, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Second, we know what we’re up against. In the last election, we were green. We had no idea what we were doing or what to expect. Although we were very passionate about getting Vince elected, our strategy for how we’d accomplish that was untested. This time around, we’ve got a game plan. We’ve got a great (and growing) team of experts. Our message is tight and our candidate is out early, raising awareness about his campaign.

Third, we are raising money. Everyone in this politics game knows that you need money to run a campaign. Nearly everyone in the race last time raised and spent more money than we did. This time around, raising money is of paramount importance to our efforts. Even though folks aren’t pouring boatloads of money into our coffers (yet), we’re focused on fundraising. What’s interesting is that it seems that everyone else is finding fundraising challenging too.

Fourth, our street game is bananas. Unlike anyone else in the race or planning on running, Vince has young legs and is ready to walk the entire district. We’re actively recruiting young college students, who have unbridled energy and a real desire to participate in the political process to add to our street team. Keep your eyes on the streets in Harlem, in the coming days, and you’ll see what I mean.

Fifth, we are masters of all things digital. There is no other candidate in this race with the internet, social media and general online savvy of Team Morgan. Vince is fond of telling the story of how he taught Mr. Rangel how to turn on his computer. And while the story is genuinely funny, it underscores the point that Mr. Rangel is out of touch with so much more than just the District he purports to represent.

Unlike other candidates, Vince is particularly savvy with all things digital. Vince regularly blogs, tweets, FourSquares, updates his Facebook and other social media profiles himself. He’s equally comfortable on his iPhone, iPad2 or Mac. In an increasingly technological age, it is of critical importance that our officials that aren’t technologically out of touch.

Applying the Art of War to a campaign.

Sixth, we’re going guerrilla. If you’ve ever read The Art of War by Sun Tzu, you know that any successful campaign starts with a plan. But rather than being focused on some rigid, fixed strategy, Sun Tzu emphasized the need for flexibility and fluidity, the ability to quickly adapt to changed(ing) situations.

Finally, folks recognize that enough is enough. One of the central themes (and campaign slogan) for this election cycle is that “It’s Time.” It’s time for Rangel to step down. It’s time for cronyism to end. It’s time to re-establish confidence in our elected officials. It’s time that big business did it’s fair share for the people, and not at the expense of the people.

Every once in a while, you’ll notice that I post up about Vince, share a story or link, or ask you to donate to the M4C campaign. I’m going to keep doing that. But I’m also going to write about what’s going on in the campaign, from behind-the-scenes.

Hopefully, you’ll be excited about what we’re doing, and join us…or give us money…or share it with your friends…or give us money…or volunteer to work with the campaign…or give us money.

And if you’re at a total loss for how to get involved, you can just give us money.

So stay tuned for my daily updates and welcome to Team Morgan!

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Harlem Stand Up! Vince Morgan is coming!

I had an interesting call with Vincent Morgan last Friday, and I came away intrigued by the man who has recently thrown his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent New York Democratic House of Representative member Charlie Rangel.

This guy could be your next Congressman! He looks electable.

The call was interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he was so cool. Not to say that someone running for office shouldn’t be, but the ease with which we spoke had me feeling like I was kicking it with one of my boys, and not having an in-depth discussion with a viable Congressional candidate.

Some background. I was introduced to Vince (as he likes to be called) by Kofi Bannerman, a partner is one of my many ventures (a brother gotta keep multiple hustles going – ya dig?), who suggested that I reach out to him because he was getting his house in order for this run for office, and might require my considerable experience (forgive my self-indulgent plug).

We were supposed to meet face-to-face, but since I wasn’t sure what this face-to-face would be about, I felt that an introductory call was in order. So I called him.

I was impressed that he picked up his phone (I figured a guy in his position would be screening everything). I was even more impressed when he said that he had time to talk, considering his admittedly hectic schedule.

After the compulsory introductions and ice-breakers, we went in on the purpose of my call – figuring out what (if anything) Morgan4Congress needed, and how I could fulfill those needs.

Nice logo huh?

In preparation of our call, I had done a preliminary search of Mr. Morgan and his fledgling campaign. It was readily apparent, however, that things were buttoned up quite nicely from the door.

His website http://morgan4congress.com was up and active, as were his various social media sites, including a Facebook fan page, Twitter, blog, and YouTube channel.

He’s been interviewed on CNN and Fox 5 regarding his run, and both the NY Times and Huffington Post have reported on his candidacy.

Vince talked about his background as a community banker, his wife and two children. We discussed his roots, growing up in Chicago, and getting chased home from school.

He broke down his stance on the issues of the upcoming election, and by the time we were done, I was left with the distinct impression that this guy was electable.

He’s spent the past three years putting together his team and readying himself for this run. I told him that I’d shoot some ideas his way for leveraging his social media assets and generating viral movement on and offline.

However it goes, this guy is the future of politics in New York. He’s young and smart with plenty of Obama-esque swagger. Did I say he was from Chicago?

All I’ve got to say is this: Harlem stand up! Vince Morgan is coming!

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