Thursday, July 05, 2007

Some Things Are Universally True

Don Worthington, a reporter with the Fayetteville Observer, just kicked off a new blog for his newspaper. It’s called Inside Politics. Worthington has reported on politics, among other topics, for newspapers as far flung as Rhode Island, Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Fairfax Connection papers. He’s also an Annandale native. In the spirit of full disclosure, he’s also my husband’s college roommate and was a groomsman at my wedding.

Besides all that, his first post has this piece of universally good advice for candidates.

As the time to file for Fayetteville City Council races nears, I'm reminded of a young Boston College student who ran for the Cambridge City Council. He campaigned hard, but lost by 160 votes. He started asking his neighbors if they had voted him. He had cut their grass, shoveled their snow. Surely, they had voted him. "No," said neighbor Elizabeth O'Brien, "People like to be asked." Thomas Phillip O'Neill, Jr. -- nicknamed Tip after a popular baseball player -- never forgot that lesson. He never lost another election. People like to be asked.
And he has even better advice for voters.

Candidates will proclaim they are running to give something back to Fayetteville. That they want to improve the area's quality of life, that they want to make things better. It's time to demand more substance from those who want to lead.
I've never met a candidate who wasn't for good schools, a crime-free neighborhood and good jobs. We need to ask them how they want to achieve those goals.

Go read the rest of his first post and let’s begin setting the bar higher in Virginia too. We need more specifics and less platitudes. Sure we want better schools, smart growth, and less road congestion, but how are we really going to get it? And how much money is it really going to cost us? And how much will it cost us not to do it?

We’re all in favor of mom and apple pie. But tell me specifically what ingredients are you putting in that pie before I buy it from you.

1 comment:

Vivian J. Paige said...

He must be good. He's using the same tagline as I am :)

All politics is local!