Update: My friends Lynn Deutsch, Joe Seconder, and Stacey Harris all won their races in the local election last night, and John Heneghan was re-elected unopposed (yet again). Where I live (which was the newest city in the United States eleven years ago) is about to get its first woman as mayor (and three of the seven city leaders will now be women in a city with 51% female citizens). Two former members of the Sustainability Commission will join City Council (where another former member, Tom Lambert, already serves). My hope is renewed for real, measurable, rubber-hits-the-road resilience (not just lipstick on a pig) for the metro-Atlanta suburb-city featured in my books, Food for My Daughters and Traveling at the Speed of Bike.
I will be out of the country from June 2020 through August 2022. It will be interesting to see the changes when I return.
Here is what I posted on Facebook on Election Day yesterday:
TODAY IS THE DAY TO CHANGE THIS.
It’s not just the increasingly common fact that nearby cities are continually eclipsing us with their innovative family-friendly plans (hello Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven . . . ).
It’s that we have so much obvious potential we are wasting — and kids don’t wait; they grow up. (Mine did already, while watching the plans they had a hand in developing at ages 8 and 13 — when the metro-Atlanta suburb-city where they grew up became the newest city in the United States — just sit on the shelves).
Today is the day to change this.
Vote for Joe Seconder, who is proven for not only talking the talk but actually getting things done, with consensus, when others have said it was impossible or it would take 20 years. Joe is the most persistent person I know to do it, and he’s the catalyst that City Council needs.
I also voted for Lynn Prager Deutsch and Stacey Fallon Harris as I believe:
* They best understand the potential of this city;
* They see suggestions for improvement not as criticism but as love;
* They are always willing to learn and adapt best practices from elsewhere to meet our unique local circumstances while consistently keeping the focus on livability you can see, touch, and feel.
(Also, please note that women, who are 51% of this city’s population, are significantly underrepresented in our city leadership, and organizations have been proven to underperform without diversity.)
We get to vote with our pedals, our forks, and our dollars every day. Today is a bonus day. We get to vote with our ballots.
Please do so if you haven’t already. You can’t go wrong this year (lots of nice people as choices), but I do think you can go really right with Joe, Lynn, and Stacey, or whoever you think could be most helpful where the rubber-hits-the-road wherever you live in the USA.
No matter what the outcomes are today, thank you to all my fellow Americans (including my ex-boss at Turner, Terry Cunningham who is doing a truly inspiring job in Bozeman, Montana), who choose to serve your communities. Local representation and fun, positive, point-the-way-forward leadership matters. You matter.