2 comments

  1. I too attended the Charter meetings, and also came away with similar reaction. Then I discovered that organizing locally runs into political party machines that need to control those groups. Most community groups are managed by one political party or another. That’s how they prepare for elections. But I’m cynical.

    I would still like to hear ideas on the best way to do it; I haven’t heard them here. Is there a model I’ve missed? Perhaps in the IMFG article?

  2. So what is the answer to all of this? I keep hearing about the problems, especially the problems with proffered solutions, but no one seems to offer up ideas as to what we should be doing instead. There seem to be an awful lot of armchair quarterbacks in this city, no matter what the issue is. Though I care deeply about this city and have spent most of my life working for the public good, as one of the alleged “white elites,” I’m getting frustrated at hearing only about how I am part of the problem and, therefore, every solution I could put forward is tainted, but no one seems to be coming up with alternate solutions. I’m not naïve enough to think there are easy answers to complex problems, and if the Charter idea is too simple for the problems it is trying to solve, then we have to move on. I admit I don’t have the answers, so I ask the question of the writer and others: How do we avoid spending the next 3 decades in paralysis while we continue to articulate the problems and criticize every offered solution as inauthentic, and instead develop practical, implementable solutions that don’t have the whiff of elitism? It’s fine to say we have to fix local governance, but I don’t know what the practical implementation of that actually means when you have thousands of decisions a day that need to be made in a city this size, and when only a relative handful of people seem to be interested in being involved. I would be interested in hearing ideas on how the city could achieve meaningful consultation/involvement with its marginalized/racialized people. Perhaps a follow-up article?

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