- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
You Elected Michael Nutter
A few hours early. -Dan
Today, like I did in May, I will cast a vote for Mike Nutter to become the next Mayor of Philadelphia. I am excited to see new leadership in the City, new ideas, new policies, and what the future entails. For the first time in a while, I feel like there is real hope in the political leadership of our City.
But, this isn’t about me, it is about you. Why? Because I voted for Mike Nutter. You elected him.
Mike Nutter should not be the Mayor of Philadelphia. After all, he is kind of funny looking, has a voice that sounds somewhat like a Muppet, has almost no clearly defined geographical base of power, and is a policy wonk in a sometimes anti-intellectual City.
Mike Nutter was not known to a lot of Philadelphians. He was down in the polls. He had no chance. He did, however, have you guys. And, for one election at least, that really mattered. I have no idea how big the ‘reform’ constituency is in this City, but I do know that while he was struggling along, low in the polls, that constituency is just about all he had. There you were: true, blue believers, talking to your friends, annoying me on the blog, and just refusing to believe he couldn’t win. A lot of other things had to happen too (like Tom Knox spending millions talking about the bums in City Hall), but none of it would have mattered if you weren’t there doing the grunt work..
But, as the line goes in that little read literary classic, Spider Man,
With great power, comes great responsibility.
So my friends, no pressure, but the responsibility is yours. Don’t blow it.
When January comes around, and Mike Nutter is sworn in, each and every one of you should be at City Hall, with seats at the table, advocating for what you believe in. But guess what? Those seats will not be there waiting for your arrival. Instead, like children playing musical chairs, there will always be more people who want the Mayor’s ear than he has time for. There will always be more issues that need attention than he will have the time, desire or ideology to prioritize. And fighting you for those same seats at the table will be big money, entrenched interests, and the status quo. And guess what? They have fat asses, and little desire to get up. Are you ready to do heavy lifting?
Most of us who volunteer for candidates, who knock on doors, who advocate for candidates have a similar problem: we believe. Candidates don’t just become people we want in office; they become us. We put so much into them, that we impute them all of our hope. The knock down fights that were on our site during the primary were not basic policy arguments; they were fights between people defending someone as if they were defending themselves.
Usually, for progressives nationally and locally, the only problem with believing so thoroughly in a candidate is that we don’t win. Instead, we get the gut-wrenching defeats. Lots of defeats. We work so hard, we advocate, we knock on doors, we donate money… and then we lose. But then we commiserate, we drink beer, we start to fight again, and the cycle continues.
Now, however, your guy won, and did so by largely by advocating for policies that you believe in. Get that? Your guy- you- won.. Life, my friends, just grew a little more complicated.
So, look in the mirror this morning. How bad do you want Nutter to succeed? What are you going to do to help him push his agenda? Maybe more importantly, what are you going to do when you disagree with him? If his stop and frisk program doesn’t go right, will you stand up and demand a change in course? If his tax cuts create holes in the budget, will you push back? On a day when you should rightfully be walking around with your chest out triumphantly, how much are you willing to fight?
With great hope, I vote for a new Mayor today. But you elected him, and I hope you take that responsibility seriously. No big deal of course. Just the future of the City, and all that.