Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Best Reason for Voting for One for Whom I Will Not Be Voting

I have got to hand it to Carol McCullough for the best argument that I have read for supporting a candidate whom I do not support:
To me, the main distinction between the two is: Diane Neighbors is progressive, but not grassroots. Carolyn Baldwin Tucker is grassroots, but not progressive. So, the question becomes, Which matters more to the office of Vice Mayor?

For me, in the end, I'm going with the grassroots. Progressive, in this instance, is about political positions. Grassroots is about process. The Vice Mayor sets the tone for the Council. The level of discussion and debate heard, the level of public participation encouraged are to some measure controlled by the person in that seat. Committee chairmanship is also determined by the Vice Mayor. Who will get appointed? Pro-development members or recently recruited neighborhood leaders (there are several running this term--Yay!).
What keeps me from supporting either of the candidates is the chance that I lay somewhere in the middle of the continuum between clear grassroots sensibilities and unshakable progressive ideas.

However, while I admire Ms. McCullough's argument, I do not go along with her belief that Ms. Tucker will be adroit at handling debate. I've watched her for a long time in Council Meetings and she is not as sharp as a Vice Mayor should be on using parliamentary procedure. I think that the meetings will be more chaotic and long with her as Chair.

Having said that, I admit to sharing Ms. McCullough's concerns about Ms. Neighbors' seemingly cozy relationship to developers at odds with neighborhoods. We need to keep a close eye on her committee appointments. Those are the hammer positions that can cause the growth pendulum to swing too far in the direction of untrammelled, roughshod development.


  1. I guess that may be why I don't have as much of a problem with Neighbors as some others. I'm not really "grassroots". I'm a member of the County Party and the Young Democrats; as opposed to some of the more "grassroots" liberal/progressive organizations. I appreciate the grassroots, and think they can do wonders, but I can't really say I'm on that team.

  2. I'm totally in agreement with Mike here, esp. after watching Tucker during the oouncil meetings myself.

    She elongated an already protracted discussion on zoning by completely not understanding the point of an issue, and continued to pound her misunderstanding to the point where she asked the vice-mayor for a voice vote on a minor procedural issue.

    Her questions overall were not 'on point', and quite frankly I wasn't impressed with her reasoning power.

    And you want HER to be your latex salesman/vice mayor???

  3. Of course, Sean, you realize that one of the reasons progressives/liberals get accused of being elitist is because of their divergence from the grassroots.