I don’t usually publicly endorse a local candidate, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my dear friend, Joe Seconder, who is running for City Council in the metro Atlanta suburb-city where I live.
And here’s the thing. Demand for someone with Joe’s knowledge and passion is continually increasing throughout our metro area, state, and country. He’s already been the President of the Georgia Bikes Board of Directors, for goodness sake, and as desire/funding for improvements for people walking and on bikes continues expanding nationally, he will be called to serve other communities. No other person in this city comes close to matching his expertise and willingness to get into the weeds to get things done in a way that represents best practices from elsewhere tailored to meet unique, local needs. We are lucky to have him offer his service to our city-at-a-crossroads, and this opportunity will not come again.
However much I like other candidates personally, the question is this: do we want to move forward, or do we want to continue to be left behind when it comes to mobility? Our city is almost 11 years old and there is no plan in place that will enable people who want to do so to to go via bike 1/2 mile to the supermarket or less than ten minutes to Brook Run Park safely — ever. (For any current city councilor or candidate who says there is a plan, I continue to invite you to ride with me so you can see the flaws in current plans.) Less than .01% of children ride their bikes to school here, in a self-proclaimed family-friendly city. Kids don’t wait — they grow up. (Note: You can’t feel like a kid again when you ride a bike — one of the undeniably-greatest gifts-for-life in the world — if you didn’t ride a bike as a kid.)
Joe is not a one-issue guy. He brings enormous local and global expertise (and a huge willingness to continually learn) to a wide range of issues facing our city. Do you want the status quo*, or do you want the improved economic, environmental, and social resiliency for our city that comes with Joe? I choose Joe.
* not a reflection on Joe’s competitor, but rather the lack of movement forward in this city lately