There’s An App For That Campaign

If you’re looking for the latest on mayoral candidate Gary Holder-Winfield at 5 a.m., check Foursquare—or download a new app to your smartphone.

Holder-Winfield has designed an app, GHW2013, for people to tap into his campaign for the Democratic nomination for mayor. It connects people to the campaign’s Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube accounts as well as contact info. It works on Androids and iPhones and can be found at the Google store, he said.

Click on the play arrow to watch Holder-Winfield demonstrate the app during a recent campaign stop at Westville’s DaSilva Gallery.

“I’m a person that’s about giving people information,” Holder-Winfield said. “I can’t be in front of everybody,” so the app helps get people answers fast.

Holder-Winfield, a third-term state representative from Newhallville, takes social media seriously. He has been named, for instance, the state Capitol’s most active user of Facebook and Twitter to keep constituents abreast of legislative developments. He’s active on YouTube and FourSquare.

Why Foursquare?

The other day he posted that he was at the gym at 5 a.m., he said. “I want people to know where I am if they want to come ask me a question.”

Another Democratic mayoral candidate, Justin Elicker, has also displayed some new-media finesse as well. Check out this video he posted both explaining a complicated issue—charter revision and the calls for an elected school board—as well as his position on it (pro-hybrid, part-elected, part-appointed board).

“Of course we will be using social media and other technology to reach out to residents. However, the bottom line is we can’t tweet our way to victory, particularly since not everyone in New Haven has access to a computer or smart phone. Winning this election will be about face to face contact with New Haven residents that no smart phone app will give,” Elicker said.

Ian Applegate animated the NHI outro tag at the end of the top video.

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posted by: Wooster Squared on February 25, 2013  5:32pm

Justin is right. As important as technology is, face-to-face interaction is by far the most important way to reach citizens. He’s also right that not everyone in New Haven has the same access to technology.

I’ve been incredibly impressed at the sheer number of meetings and gatherings Justin attends and how accessible he is to the community both online and in person.

posted by: The Realist on February 25, 2013  5:47pm

Great!  It is good to see that a potential office holder is not afraid of technology. 

If only Gary had some interesting and creative ideas about how to solve some of the city’s problems rather than spending his time developing a toy.

This is disappointing.  I was hoping Gary could offer some solid, hard-hitting solutions to the array of problems the DeStefano regime has shackled the city with over the past 20 years. 

It is going to take brave, insightful and bold leadership to pull New Haven out of this financial tailspin we find ourselves in.  Only someone with a firm grasp of the problems can make it happen. 

Gary’s solution - make a smart phone app. 

A piece of advice Gary - figure out something cogent and insightful to say before spending your time and money building a loudspeaker.

posted by: Fair and Honest on February 25, 2013  6:05pm

Well ... I’m puzzled.  Does the Holder-Winfield app actually have any content? I don’t need to know where the candidate is at 5am. I need to know how he thinks we can fund our schools and police and public transportation. 
Can you explain a complex budget in a Tweet? I guess I’m just not a sound-bite kind of person.

posted by: HewNaven on February 25, 2013  7:41pm

For some reason, I can’t imagine that Foursquare will be the determining factor in this election. I’m actually in favor of Holder-Winfield dialing back a little in revealing so much of his personal life. I don’t want to know what any candidate is doing at 5AM, unless its picking up trash, or something equally useful. Don’t tell us where your body is, tell us where your head’s at!

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on February 25, 2013  9:24pm

How about people who do not have cellphones.

posted by: Elizabethaiken on February 26, 2013  8:41am

I think the comments on this article are disappointing and petty. Gary developed an app for his campaign. I think that’s terrific. People who don’t like it or are not supporting this candidate don’t need to use it. Developing an app does not mean that Gary does not meet face to face with people. He does. It does not mean that Gary does not have a vision of New Haven and ideas for fixing some of New Haven’s many problems. He does. Gary would make a great mayor. If people are supporting a different candidate that is their choice, but please stop the negative attacks on Gary. Ironically it reflects negatively on your candidate.

posted by: David S Baker on February 26, 2013  1:57pm

@Elizabethaiken - I think Candidate H Windfield fell into a fluff piece and a lot of the reaction is coming from that aspect. I apprecaite ANY election coverage over none, and give Paul full marks for his focus this early in the game, but this is the equivilant of “Eliker buys backpack for campaigning dog.” and was sculpted to get a response about a weak tactic from the other candidate.  CAGE MATCH!  I LOVE this stuff.  Bravo, Paul. Either way, the responses are correct.

My paperwork showed less than a third of Fair Haven Heights voters with any record of attendance could be reached outside knocking on doors, telephone, or mailings in 2011.  Some neighborhoods will be better that way, and the technology has improved, but I am sure neither candidate will rely on anything aside from PUBLIC DEBATE and face time to earn solid ones.

posted by: robn on February 26, 2013  7:26pm

So a white, Yale educated professional develops a smartphone app for his upper middle class East Rock constituency??? isn’t that elitist???...oh wait; nevermind.

posted by: HhE on February 27, 2013  11:59am

What I have seen so far:  two very good candidates are running (I favor Justin over Gary, in part because I hope Gary will be in DC one day—sooner the better).  I have not seen any other credible canidate throw their hat into the ring.  I have seen a lot of cheep shots at both of these strong, intelligent, and honorable men. 

Both Justin and Gary use technology, as well as face to face, to communicate to voters.  I think that is great, even if I do not take advantage of all of it. 

Here is a thought, if you wish to take issue with either of them, have a real issue.