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?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.
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!).
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.