30 years from now, my niece Liberal Leila and other current 2 year-olds might wonder how, back int 2012-14, did a Democratic majority Board of Supervisors (BOS) do what they did to the General Plan Update over the past 2 years. They also might note that both other members of the BOS were registered as Decline to State. “How did they vote so overwhelmingly conservatively” Leila and friends might ask. I think the answer lies in part in the HCDCC endorsement meeting last night.
(BTW, if you are not clear on what this BOS has done, please find the April Fools edition of the Mad River Union. It’s wonderful.)
So, we have in this country two very clear and very different governing philosophies. One side would admit that government can be good and has a role to play in softening the excesses of capitalism and the free market. The other side is very skeptical of government and believes if left alone, the market and individuals will make the best decisions on their own.
Unfortunately, we have decided as a community to toss away these two ready-made political parties in favor of only one. This creates great problems for democracy as public debates of substance, differences, and even acrimony on matters of policy are limited. What we are left with is maneuvering, back-room dealing, leverage – oh, and a whole lot of glad-handing.
Last night, the one remaining effective party in HumCo put on an open house and weighed in on two incredibly important subjects that are going to be on the June 6th ballot – the Board of Supervisors and by extension the General Plan Update, and the District Attorney’s race. Unfortunately, we swung and missed as predicted. We could not endorse* which was the specific hope, if not strategy of the Bass campaign. In Matthew Owen’s words, “now the voters get to decide”.
Is that really what just happened Matthew? Or did you, Virginia and friends join the growing club of people working to short circuit a political system given the new realities of one party rule in Humboldt, AND, I might mention in California.
It’s a big problem for democracy and any hope we have as a community, as a state and nation, and ultimately as a globe if we cannot use our political system to address real problems honestly and openly. I’m thinking specifically of climate change, but inequality, economic sustainability, etc. also depend on an open and honest discussion and approach to problem solving.
Matthew, did you notice that during Virginia’s comments she did not mention the General Plan Update? But the Building Department as a Service Department was the one thing she mentioned at her campaign kick-off. What is it that can explain that paradox? Is it possible that the HCDCC is not the best place to discuss a service oriented instead of planning oriented Planning Department? And wouldn’t it be cool if there was a party where she could express her opinion?
Not only do I think it would be cool, I think it is critical.
Anyway, here is a link to the votes last night. I added a little subjective categorizing of GPU voting blocks for your mulling pleasure.
* I mean besides in the 5th District! Hooray for Sharon and for democracy up there. Let’s start using some Democratic resources to get Sharon elected and to tell Congressman Huffman and the Driscoll bros WTH man? Also, Mike McGuire and Jim Wood lets stand up for Sharon Latour strongly and loudly!