Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Blood Part 1

What are these? The ages of top candidates for Council District 5 and Super District 8. Last year with Lee Harris, three years ago with Kevin Woods, and five years ago with Justin Ford the new blood has started to arrive that we have long needed for this city and county.

I know he won't believe it, but one thing that Del Gill was correct on in his quest to become party chair was right, young people don't vote and aren't engaged. He was wrong in that we should only focus on older voters though. That disengagement by the young is in large part due to efforts by the old guard to drive people away. Efforts to keep them from power and moving up to become our future are showing in the lack of change in the power structure in the Democratic side especially for the last ten plus years. If you cannot see a future, if you cannot see hope or the chance for improvement, why should you try to make the change happen?

Wait your turn, it't not your time yet. That gets said a lot to younger people entering races or contemplating races. What should be said to them instead include questions like these: Why are you running? What are you going to do to make a change or improve the situation? How are you going to get your agenda passed and implemented?

Too often our local leaders stay in way too long. While that does give you institutional power and control and knowledge, it also leads to stagnation, corruption, and inflexibility. New people have new ways of looking at a situation and explore new ideas. Our older leaders still have a lot to offer, realizing when the time to step aside is difficult.

All of us want to make this city vibrant and strong. Older officials have a lot to offer in advice and counseling. But too often here, political office has become about the job and the power, and not the ideas and the people. We want our city to grow and be attractive to people to move here. One great way is to have young, energetic, dynamic leadership at all levels of government that will both work with the veterans and serve as examples to the future that will replace them as well. Train them up, step aside, and let them go, perhaps before you are willing to let go, but have faith that you did your job right.

Embrace the new. More to come later this week.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Embrace the new, indeed.