CHICAGO (CBS) — Politicians used to go door-to-door to converse with their constituents — now they go to the internet.
Will Guzzardi, a Democrat running for Illinois State Representative, turned to the popular website Reddit on Thursday to have a direct discussion with voters.
On Reddit, users submit posts that other users can then vote on, voting either “up” or “down,” to help rank that individual post among all the other millions of posts on the website. The higher the rank, the more exposure the post gets. Users can also leave comments on posts, which has spawned the AMA or “Ask Me Anything” post. Many have done AMA posts, including George Clooney and even President Obama, where they answer questions posters leave for them.
Posting in the Chicago section — also called a subreddit — of Reddit, Will Guzzardi instructed Reddit users to, “Ask me about why I’m running, ask me about what I want to do in office, ask me about our campaign, ask me anything!”
Guzzardi’s opponent in the 39th District, which is on the Northwest Side and includes Logan Square, Belmont Cragin, Portage Park and Avondale, is Toni Berrios.
Though they’re both Democrat, Guzzardi did his best to highlight why he’s different from six-term incumbent Berrios, writing, “On so many of the issues we all care about, she [Berrios] simply hasn’t been on our side.”
Guzzardi then goes on to portray Berrios as pro-big corporations and anti-public education.
Talking about the importance of the Illinois Department of Transportation to Chicago, Guzzardi, who doesn’t own a car and gets around solely by riding his bike or the CTA, wrote, “Irving Park Road and Cicero Ave, for instance, are state roads. So in order to put better bike lanes on those roads, we need to work with IDOT. (And take it from me, it’s real hairy biking on Irving Park.) And we need to allocate more funding from the state for better rail and bus service. I also think that better coordination and cooperation amongst agencies (CTA, Metra, PACE, etc.) will help drive costs down.”
He even took took a moment to insult the new, unpopular CTA fare-payment system Ventra, writing, “Ventra sucks. They can pry my Chicago Card Plus out of my cold dead hand.”
By the end of his roughly three-hour question and answer post, which ended at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, there were roughly 150 comments. In the comments, Guzzardi addressed Chicago Public Schools (he’s endorsed by the Chicago Teachers Union), economic reforms for the state and the legalization of marijuana, among other things.
You can see Guzzardi’s full exchange with Reddit users here.