Wednesday, January 30, 2013

CHALLENGE -- Peoples' Elections in Carrboro

We have an amazing opportunity in Carrboro over the next 18 months. When as many as six positions on the Board of Aldermen could be up for grabs. Beginning with the Special Election on March 19.

If anyone, including your preferences, truly wants to serve, they will have more than ample opportunity. So, let’s use these series of Elections to do more than just engage in Carrboro politics as usual.

Let’s use these next 18 months to encourage the widest, broadest and deepest conversation possible about the state of our town, and the direction in which it is heading.

In that regard, I have a challenge to all those who make up the political establishment in Carrboro. Stand back. Let the people have that conversation. Without imposition by you. Let them make their own choices. Without direction from you.

Do not nominate, do not endorse, do not lobby, do not campaign. Do not close ranks to anoint an heir. Rather, step back. And encourage as many different people as possible, with as many different views as possible, to nominate themselves as candidates. And then campaign, only for themselves.

So that we can all encourage the most open debate possible about the future of our town. Without any in positions of influence giving any indication as to preference. So that the people of Carrboro can hear, can ask, can decide, without feeling they are being railroaded in any particular direction.

To those organizations which normally endorse, I say this: send out your questionnaires, hold your forums, publish the results. And then leave it at that. Let the people make up their own minds.

To the rest I suggest this: hold your tongues, and your pens. No letters to the media. No posts on blogs in support. Please move out of the way, and create space for those whose voices are not normally heard; let them ask their questions, let them create the conversation, rather than the ‘professional’ talking heads.

Carrboro prides itself on being a progressive town. So Carrboro, let’s demonstrate progress with the democratic process. Let’s give it back, lock, stock and barrel, to the people. Vox Pop in Carrboro.