Why I won’t be voting for Ayanna Pressley

By | September 14, 2009

On July 29, I received an unsolicited bulk email message from Ayanna Pressley, a candidate for one of the Boston City Council’s At-Large seats, with the Subject line, “Our Campaign Kick-Off for Boston City Council At Large!”  The email message to which it was sent (I use different email addresses for different purposes to make tracing things like this easier) made it clear that Pressley obtained my email address through my activism in support of Barack Obama during the last presidential campaign.  Certainly, I never provided by email address to Pressley or gave her permission to send me bulk email.

I responded as follows:

I might have considered voting for you if you hadn’t spammed me.

I don’t patronize companies, support organizations, or vote for politicians who send me bulk email without my consent.

I never gave you permission to put my email address on your bulk email list, so you shouldn’t have done it; it’s just that simple.

Pressley, or her staff, could have responded with an apology, or even with a simple acknowledgment and confirmation that I had been unsubscribed from her list.  Any response of that sort would have prompted me to at least reconsider whether I would support her candidacy, and probably would have prevented me from posting this blog entry.  Instead, I received no response at all, thus cementing my decision not to support her.

On the bright side, at least she hasn’t spammed me again.

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8 thoughts on “Why I won’t be voting for Ayanna Pressley

  1. Kim

    I won’t vote for her for a more substantial reason: she is disingenuous. She disses the women that helped her get to where she is, that supported her, and don’t have high profiles. She has been rude to women that appear to draw attention away from her. She is too superficial. There are grumblings of women that she has alienated with her attitude. I for one, witnessed her pretending not to recognize a woman at an event, even though she made eye contact and looked down as she passed her. No none of these women have had conflicts with her. They are possible competitors to her. Don’t believe her stories that she wants to help women. It’s just good public relations for her. Nothing more nothing less.

    Reply
  2. Frisky070802

    You’re surely right that a responsive campaign would be better than a nonresponsive one. But if I wrote off every politician/vendor/etc who didn’t respond to me, I’d run out of people to vote for and places to do business. I think over the years I’ve developed a thicker skin for such things.

    I just hope you aren’t throwing the baby out with the bathwater — that you have other reasons besides email for selecting your candidate.

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      But if I wrote off every politician/vendor/etc who didn’t respond to me, I’d run out of people to vote for and places to do business.

      I disagree.

      Reply
  3. Frisky070802

    I too give out customized addresses, and I have repeatedly found that political addresses have a habit of being reused in other contexts. Usually there is a link to unsubscribe, and when I find it’s someone I’m not interested in, I do that uneventfully. I don’t think that the fact that they used it to contact you should be such a negative that you use the spam to decide whom to vote for, nor do I think their failure to respond (which is an issue of their campaign, not the politician herself, and could be a result of lots of emails bouncing messages back to their address and overwhelming them) is fatal. A factor, sure, but no doubt a small one?

    And no, I have no stake in a Boston battle, and I’m not in Boston. I started following your blog when you posted about your kid being sent to Newark by mistake, and I found enough other interesting stuff to start following the blog … and then haranguing you over science museum policies 🙂

    Reply
    1. jik Post author

      If somebody wants to add me to a bulk email list that they think I’ll be interested in, then they need to admit up-front that they did that. I would not have been nearly as upset with the spam from Pressley if she had put even just one sentence in her spam to the effect of, “We’ve added you to our list because we thought you might be interested in Ayanna Pressley’s campaign. If not, please click below to unsubscribe.” There was no such acknowledgment.

      As for the issue of lack of response, the buck stops with the candidate. She is responsible for the conduct of her staff, and the conduct of her staff reflects on her ability to do the job she’s running for. If she can’t maintain a staff that is capable of responding to voter concerns during the campaign, then why should I believe that she will be able to maintain a staff that is capable of responding to constituent concerns if she is elected?

      Reply
  4. Ayanna Pressley Supporter

    I’m attend school out of the state, which is not rare. I was born and raised in Boston and am a registered Boston voter.

    Reply
  5. jik Post author

    It is not one incident, but two, that prompted me to decide not to support Pressley. As I noted, not only did she spam me, but she also ignored my complaint about the spam. Spamming says something significant about politicians, and so does ignoring complaints from voters.

    When it comes to making decisions about candidates, we often have very little information to go on, and what the candidates say about themselves is a far less reliable indicator of their true character and ability to serve than what they do. For this reason, the little “tells” that a candidate reveals through his or her actions should be taken seriously; they are usually a very good indicator of a candidate’s true character.

    By the way, I find myself wondering what someone at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, which is where your comment was posted from, is doing involving him/herself in a local Boston political campaign.

    Reply
  6. Ayanna Pressley Supporter

    It is unfortunate that a one-time spam incident will overshadow the great work that this amazing woman has done for the City of Boston. I urge you to consider Ayanna’s candidacy more seriously. The future of our city is of greater importance than your irritation at receiving an unsolicited email. Ayanna will be an incredible city councilor, and I hope that you would forgive her and her campaign staff for the mishap.

    Reply

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