Sunday, May 20, 2007

More forums, things to learn

No article in today's paper about yesterday's forum at the monthly Democratic breakfast moderated by Bob Gibson. We were not newsworthy enough. Cville Tomorrow has the story, video and podcast.

I am learning how to campaign as I go along. Being a politician is something I never actually thought I would do, mostly I am a concerned citizen, when I see issues, I have a call to action and this is what drives me. For example, I was upset about summer pool hours, turns out a lot of people are, I apply to be on the Parks and Rec Advisory Board to advocate for families and family time as a Parks priority. This year the hours have been extended somewhat, not nearly as late as I want them...baby steps.

This post by Waldo at cvillenews also called me to action. The comment "Don’t forget the criteria for appointment: Be a friend of the Dems on City Council or someone they can trust to do their bidding. Most Republicans can just forget about applying and many members of the Democratic Party don’t even stand a chance" made me want to test this commentator's theory.

At the time I had been in town for two months, my husband had not found a job yet and I had a one year old and a two year old. I was looking for a way to serve the community I grew up in, but I really didnt know the people in charge. I applied for Planning Commission, then thought better of that, and changed to CDBG Task Force. I had heard about CDBG from my work at Legal Aid Justice Center. I was easily appointed to that board and later to the Parks Board. That go around, Mike Farruggio, good citizen and Republican was appointed to the Planning Commission.

Charlottesville is in transition, old relationships mean a lot, but newcomers and people with different points of view are more accepted. My campaign is populist in that sense, I am not tied to the way things have always been, because that seems to mean only some people who have the resources receive the resources. Instead I am looking to the future to a more egalitarian Charlottesville where decisions are made out in the open and citizens feel appreciated and respected for their participation and input (and sought out for their input).

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