Sunday, August 10, 2008
An Open Letter to Otis Jackson
No, it's OK, it's not going to be ANYTHING like my letter to Ms. Tinker, I write for totally different reasons.
First, congratulations. After several tries, you have been elected to countywide office, and have expanded the list of Democratic elected officials in County government. We need more of them because it's always better to have people in government who actually believe that mutually consented self-government is possible and necessary, unlike the GOP.
As you may be aware, I had serious reservations about your candidacy. To be blunt, I did not vote for you for those reasons. Yet, you have won, and your victory portends Democratic control of this county for years to come.
Because of this, and because you do not have the familiarity with your office that Cheyenne Johnson and Paul Mattila have with theirs, I want you to know that you will probably be more scrutinized than they are, because you're the rookie, and you know perfectly well what that means.
As a new clerk, you have the perfect right to choose your own management team, one that reflects your particular vision for that office. Make sure that you have the BEST possible team, one that's not afraid to tell you no if need be. They must be the most competent people available, and we CANNOT, as Democrats, afford to have any office appear to be overrun with cronyism; that's what Republicans do.
I say this because, since you are now a Democratic elected official, I want you to succeed, to the point where people wonder why they didn't vote for you earlier. You have the chance to make this an outstanding office, and I want this to happen.
Clerk-Elect Jackson, as Democrats we desperately have to regain people's trust in government. All these years of deliberate Republican mismanagement (along with some horrible missteps by our OWN folks as well) have caused people to believe that government can't do anything to help anyone but the very rich. I know better, and so do you, so that's why I write today.
Best of luck, and we're pulling for you to do a great job.