I'll be getting my ballot in the mail in a few weeks, and I feel lucky/privileged/grateful to be able to vote for two candidates of such ability and character and vision - Charlie Hales for Mayor, and Barack Obama for President.
With Barack, I've been part of the same journey so many of us have been on, caught up in the optimism and hope of 2008, then smacked in the face with four years of reality - the bright moments along with mild to crushing disappointment in our inability to get it together as a country more quickly, especially politically.
I'm still a believer in Barack Obama, amazed by his grace and courage and strength and integrity in the last four years. I believe Bill Clinton, that Barack has done the right things, and we will feel it in the next four years. More importantly than his policies, I believe Barack has a vision and narrative that's big enough for all of us, and that this vision is in step with the larger story that is emerging about who human beings are and what we are capable of. I expect him to win, and I'll be doing what I can to help him.
"Hope is not a destination," I was reminded by a friend yesterday. "Hope is fuel for us to create the world we want for our daughters and grandchildren." That's not Barack's work, that's our work. We have work to do in re-imagining and rebuilding the systems and stories that no longer serve us. We're doing that, all over the place, and seeing better ideas emerge and take root in health care, in medicine, in education, in food, in transportation, in energy, in social justice. This work is happening, all around us. Reaching towards what's possible and working together to build it.
In Portland, Charlie Hales is fighting for the chance to lead our city in that work. I shared my thoughts on Charlie in the primary, and my conviction remains. He and Jeff share a compelling and heartfelt and inclusive vision for the city, but Charlie is simply more qualified to pull it off. That's nothing against Jeff, I can't imagine anyone better qualified than Charlie. He seems tailor-made for this job. I hope as Mayor, he can figure out how to get Jeff's mind and heart involved in a big way for this city.