Carl Rhinehart III is running for Common Council At-Large in Richmond, Indiana as a Democrat candidate in the 2023 general election.

2023 Election Guide

Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide

The Western Wayne News asked candidates in contested races for the Nov. 7 general election the same nine questions.

  1. What are two specific reasons you decided to run for this office? (100 words or less.)
  2. If elected/re-elected, what are your top three priorities for your time in office? (150 words or less.)
  3. What are two specific skills you would bring to the office to benefit constituents, if elected/re-elected? (100 words or less.)
  4. What’s one aspect of the government body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think is working well and should continue? (100 words or less.)
  5. What’s one aspect of the body you’re seeking to join or lead that you think needs to change, and what specific action(s) would you pursue to change it? (100 words or less.)
  6. Will you accept the results of the election process even if you are not elected/re-elected? (50 words or less.)
  7. Beyond encouraging attendance at public meetings, how do you plan to involve residents in decision making processes that the office you seek is a part of? (100 words or less.)
  8. If you received a $5 million grant to improve our community any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why? (150 words or less.)
  9. Any other comments you’d like to share about your candidacy? (150 words or less.)

Candidates were given a month’s time to respond with a firm deadline. We share their answers, unedited from their original form, here and in our print editions.

For full election coverage, visit the Western Wayne News 2023 Election Guide.

Carl Rhinehart III

Reasons: I decided to run for office because I want to make a difference in the lives of all community members but specifically those that feel like they have been left out, forgotten, or not even considered.

The second reason is that the opportunity to run for office presented itself in a way that I could not turn my back on it. I have been blessed to serve this community for almost 20 years. If I don’t join City Council to represent the interests of the people, who will?

Priorities: #1 is to first take time to understand how Richmond government currently works. I want to gain insight from other Council members, department heads, community members, and leaders.

#2 Identify areas of need and legislate to improve the quality of life for all, with a focus on: strong connected neighborhoods, housing, and youth and families.

#3 Is to serve with integrity and transparency, always remembering why I choose to serve. This will be accomplished, in part, by improving communication and engagement between City Council and the community.

Skills: I am a connector, building relationships with a variety of people and organizations to increase collaboration and improve how we function as a community.

I am a servant leader, putting the needs of the people first and helping others develop and function as well as possible. I will use proactive communication and intentional engagement to ensure that community member feel heard, connected, and that their needs are met.

Working well: There are many aspects that are working well. I think about the number of events and activities that took place over the summer and that aligns with the Parks and Tourism boards providing enjoyment and connection for community members and visitors. We need enjoyable activities that connect to the culture and history of our community while providing new ways to explore and have fun. This is crucial to the growth of our community as we invite younger people and families to stay and move to Richmond that may want to enjoy the city in unconventional ways.

Needs changing: I want to become more familiar with our boards and commissions focused on economic development, planning, and redevelopment. I want to help decision making bodies think about what is in the best interest of existing community members and those that may be overlooked.

Accepting results: The votes are the voice of the people. When the people have spoken, I will respect their decision. I will follow procedure and the law if there are any questions about the process.

I decided to run for office because I want to make a difference in the lives of all community members but specifically those that feel like they have been left out, forgotten, or not even considered.

Carl Rhinehart III

Involving residents: Coffee shops, community rooms and street corners are great places to have conversations and to get a sense of the needs and concerns of the community. Being present in neighborhoods and around the community, providing access to communication tools such my as cell phone, email, and using social media messengers has also helped me to connect with others. People communicate differently, so it’s important to accommodate them as much as possible. I plan to proactively share information as much as possible and help people navigate the process of attending public meetings.

$5 million: I would hire project managers to oversee data collection, community organizing, and program development in the areas of: housing/ homelessness, transportation, mental health/substance use, and youth & family opportunities. If we fully understand the problem, identify opportunities, and have dedicated individuals doing the work, we can make a big impact. Other areas of concern are the effects of poverty and other social determinants of health, climate change & weather related concerns, and sustainability. Processes used and plans developed need to inform, education, and empower individual community members and organizations to do their part to improve the condition of the community and its members.

Other: Since coming to Earlham in 1999, I have seen the good and challenging in Richmond through my personal and professional experiences. I am committed to relationship building, collaboration, and filling the gaps in our community. We R better together and with your vote we can improve the quality of life for all.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 11 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.