One Year Of The Celock Report

By John Celock

One year ago today I launched a new chapter in my professional life that has been an amazing journey, one that I could not have done without everyone who has been reading along the way. Today marks the one-year anniversary of The Celock Report.

I launched The Celock Report a year ago with a simple goal in mind. To bring balanced reporting of state level politics to people. The reception that I have received over the past year has been amazing. The experiences that I have been unforgettable and I can only say that I have grown professionally and personally from all of this.

I want to say thank you. Thank you for reading, commenting, interacting, answering questions and giving me tips. This adventure could not be the success that it is and the amazing journey that it is without everyone who is reading.

Over this past year I have had the chance to cover a wide variety of topics. Taxes, budgets, elections, polls, legislation and non-profits. I have met great people and had the chance to spend time out reporting and talking to people.

I spent 39 days traveling around Kansas over the past year. In the course of these two trips and 5,000 miles around the Sunflower State, I have had the chance to see exactly what makes Kansas a great state and meet the people of this state. I have written about these trips and my time in the JoCo suburbs, in Lawrence, Wichita, discovering the good work of Ashby House in Salina, discovering Dodge City, in Lucas and Wilson and spending 20 days based in Ellinwood. Those 39 days are among the highlights of this first year of The Celock Report and I again say thank you to everyone in Kansas. And I cannot wait to get out there again because there is so much more to see.

It is not just Kansas. I have tried to focus on politics at the state level across the country. New Jersey, Wyoming, Michigan, North Dakota, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and other spots. State level politics has and always will remain an important area to cover.

People ask me two questions a lot. Why state politics and why young elected officials? The answers are fairly simple.

State politics is incredibly important to people’s lives. Think about many of the laws that impact us on a daily basis from education to traffic to the environment, they are dictated by the states. States build highways, provide public safety, decide education standards, set tax rates for economic growth and so much more. State politics has become more and more intertwined with ideas coming up and from state to state. One of the reasons I launched The Celock Report is to explore these topics and the impact states are having not only within their borders but outside their borders.

Personally I have always been interested in and fascinated by state politics. It started with New Jersey Model Youth in Government in junior high and high school and has only grown. I started covering it in New York while campus editor of the UB Spectrum during college and have continued this focus. For many years the focus was on New York and New Jersey, but I am excited that I have been able to start exploring more and more states, and learning the politics of these states.

In terms of young elected officials, from the first interview I conducted for my book on a hot day in June 2006 along the Jersey City waterfront, I have sought to show why young people run for office and the impact they have. Young elected officials continue to be those who will be future statewide and national leaders. They have large impacts in the offices they hold. Showing why they run and they are impacting continues to be to me an important thing to look at.

As I said this first year of The Celock Report has been an adventure. Little did I know a year ago that by this point I’d have driven a combine, discovered the joys of cowboy boots and become an honorary deputy marshal of Dodge City. All in the course of learning things that have made me more informed about our country and the Midwest, which in turn have made me a better writer. I am incredibly excited to see what is in store for year two.

Thank you again for reading. I look forward to another exciting year.