Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Love my candidates

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.


Anonymous said...

How do you feel about Mr. Hales stance on the building of coal terminals in the Pacific Northwest?

I'm principal of a said...

First, I don't like anonymous comments - please consider using your name. If you don't want to sign up for an account - please use it in the body of your comment.

I'm not familiar with the coal issue you are talking about. One of the reasons I'm voting for Charlie is because of how I've seen him think about and consider and weigh issues and decisions. Whether or not I agree with an individual decision is less important to me than how he approaches all of them. He listens and works with people to arrive at smart decisions and move forward on them.

Charlie is not a typical politician. He was a contractor who loved his city, so he became a successful and esteemed neighborhood activist, then a respected and effective council person, part of a political leadership team that really moved this city forward. We're still reaping the benefits of their work more than a decade later. I think we're lucky he's decided to step away from a successful business career and come back to public service. He will be a great mayor for this city.

Coal is tricky. We continue to use it as our #1 source of energy because, like all fossil-fuels, it is so efficient as an energy source. There's plenty of it - more than a thousand years, they say - and it's right here, and you can store it easily, and we continue to get smarter about how to extract it sensitively and mitigate the effects of burning it (even if we can't summon the political or financial stones to ENACT carbon storage). We're going to keep using it for a while, and all of us benefit from what it gives us, while more and more of us are concerned with its down side... I believe Buckminster Fuller is right, ultimately, we will provide all the world's energy requirements without using any Fossils or nuclear, but there's no denying its essential and beneficial role in the unfolding story of energy and where we find it and how we use it.

Thanks for the comment -