DC mayoral election
I've said before that I am bored about the election and the "choices" we have. Yesterday, Post columnist Robert McCartney ("Muriel Bowser seems to be the candidate to beat among rivals to DC Mayor Vincent Gray") suggests that Muriel Bowser has the best chance at beating Mayor Gray. I've said the same for at least two years. She's tall, she's articulate. But she hasn't really done much but respond to constituent requests. But out of boring, she sticks out because she's a she.
People ask me about Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys & Poets, a small businessman who does a lot of good things. I'm still bored.
One thing that might make me less bored are enacting all the changes I've suggested in how DC governs itself ("New Year's Post #1: Defining mediocrity up and the 2014 elections in DC") related to the point that DC also has responsibilities to function well if it wants to be a state, it's not something that's just handed down.
Anyway, Harold Meyerson had an interesting column in the LA Times ("L.A. and N.Y.: Two new mayors but two different agenda: Because of the way the elections played out, New York's Bill de Blasio has a clear mandate for policy reform. L.A.'s Eric Garcetti? Not so much") comparing progressive agendas in the respective mayoral campaigns in NYC and Los Angeles.
He asserts that New York State's election laws, which allow for a candidate to run as a candidate for multiple "parties", allows for a finer-grained development of platforms, which supports more delineated and progressive politics. From the article:
In New York City since the late 1990s, progressive unions and community organizations such as ACORN and its successors have come together in the Working Families Party, which now dominates the city's government. The party recruits and trains candidates and manages their campaigns. Under New York state's electoral fusion laws, office-seekers can be the nominees of more than one party, so candidates often run under the auspices of both the Democrats and the Working Families Party. Like the L.A. County Federation of Labor, the WFP runs a terrific get-out-the-vote operation, but the New York organization, unlike the County Fed, also has a permanent neighborhood canvass to build support for its chosen causes.I have written that in DC, because the vast majority of the city's voters consider themselves "progressive-liberal-Democrat," Democratic "Party" candidates have and avail themselves of the luxury of not having to have a defined platform.
So as far as governance and politics are concerned, we're all over the place. Scattered. And we don't accomplish all that much, despite the great wealth that the city has at its disposal, as we control 100% the "state" income taxes levied on residents, something no other city in North America enjoys.
Having an electoral party "fusion" process comparable to New York State might help DC start to toughen up its political parties and create competition where it now doesn't exist.
Labels: elections and campaigns