Video campaigns for mayor post

PHAT BUI dances and raps … sort of … in a new campaign video.

It’s the stretch run of the political season, and while most attention is being focused on the national presidential race, there’s plenty of interesting stuff going on at the local level.

In Garden Grove, for example, there’s a contest for mayor between the incumbent Steve Jones and challenger Phat Bui, a member of the city council.

Driving around town, you can see many signs, but you can also get your share of politicking on YouTube and Facebook. Both candidates have had several videos made, and they reflect different approaches to the campaign.

  • Bui’s most memorable video is a riff on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” in which he does some comic acting and even a little dance while a voiceover does a parody of the song from the TV series that made Will Smith famous.

Our Critique: Bui gets points for poking a little fun at himself and establishing himself as a “regular guy.” Humor goes a long way, and it’s entertaining. But the video doesn’t say anything about what he would do as mayor better than Jones, and most of the scenes in this video show folks without masks and not practicing social distancing. Not a big deal to some, but more so to others.

  • The Jones video that stands out shows His Honor in a mix of still shots and video employing superimposition touting including SteelCraft, the OCStreetcar and lots of shovels with symbolic groundbreaking, and folks holding oversize donation “checks.”

A STEVE JONES political ad.

Our Critique: Points for specificity, something that’s missing in many such political ads. A lot has happened during his tenure. However, it just … seems a little … tame. A good ad sparks a bit of emotion, and as for people holding checks – unless they’re coming directly to us – we probably don’t care.

We know there are other videos out there, one in which Bui stands by a closed Coco’s and promises to bring more business to West Garden Grove, and another for Jones which is entirely in Vietnamese, which touts his biracial family and connections.

Having said all that, these are still worlds ahead of the previous favored political media, which consisted of a three-fold brochure featuring a static posed family photo, another photo of the candidate standing by a police car, and some copy that promises more services with lower taxes. Bring on the videos. And be sure to vote.

The park-ing brakes are off

There are some exciting things coming to the Garden Grove park system, but there have been some delays. Here’s why.

  • The new Medal of Honor bike and walking path along the old Pacific Electric right-of-way between Nelson and Brookhurst streets will be lined with trees, with the planting originally planned to begin in early September. Now, that’s been pushed back a month, according to Community Services Director John Montanchez, as the contractor finalized his agreement with insurance and bonds. Looks like the work has started and the goal is to plant those 363 trees by the end of December.
  • The new playground equipment at Garden Grove Park was removed from the general park project because, according to John, the designs “did not meet our standards.” Those that did were too expensive. So the plan is to rebid the project for just the shelters and pavilion so a deadline for the use of the grant funding can be met. After those are completed, the next step is to get new playground stuff “with a design that meets our standards and budget.”

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