Friday, October 5, 2007

Thoughts: All Politics Really Are Local!

'Think globally, act locally'

"Each generation needs to make its own decisions and its own discoveries - which means that one of this generation's responsibilities is to see that the next generation will still have something left to discover."
- Tony Hiss The Experience of Place
Less than three months from my departure from the Bellingham City Council, I find myself anticipating the freedom in emancipating myself from the self-imposed rigors of my partially self-imposed schedule.

That feeling is exhilarating!

Au Revoir, Hasta Luego and see you later my friends!

I mean that in all sincerity, but with a modicum of tongue-in-cheek loquacity.

What shall I find to write about, now that my tenure is about to be over?

Not to worry, there is a seemingly endless store of issues and opinions from which to draw.

Some of these topics seem inexhaustible, because they are timeless in nature,

Topics like growth management, lake whatcom preservation, waterfront redevelopment, fiscal responsibility, open government, neighborhood involvement, economic development, library enhancement, greenways, public safety, and citizen involvement are never ending!

And, of course, holding local elected officials -and wannabe's- accountable for their actual performance!

That is as it should be.

Because each generation requires a renewal and a reawakening to regenerate a democracy, particularly at the local level.

The City level is almost as local as one can get, at least when it comes to elected officials which represent a municipality.

The City and County level is where democracy starts.

Those are the levels where people know what's important, and who will represent their interests.

Higher levels, like District, State and Federal are separated more widely than the local level.

But, if you don't get it right at the local level, the problems just get worse as you go up the chain.

But, what is right at the local level you might ask?

Go back to the topics mentioned above, then add to them the considerations of health, welfare and safety at a higher level.

Add to that the importance of feedback from the populace, and leaven that with the promise of responsiveness, and openness, regardless of popularity at the ballot.

Americans need more from their representatives than their dedication to their own re-election!

Democracy begins at home, but it doesn't end there!

Renewal is a constant that should not be ignored!

There is no mention in our constitution of political parties.

That is a construct that has occurred afterwards.

Do not let the will of parties subvert the will of the people.

Votes should be based upon the person and their qualifications for office.

Do not be persuaded by proxy!

Or by propaganda.

Ask questions yourself, and by guided by answers that are represented to be true.

These answers are important in a democracy!

Make sure you ask the right ones, and satisfy yourself that the answers ring true.

We can't ask for more than that.
"My experience in government is that when things are non-controversial and beautifully coordinated, there is not much going on." -- JFK