What you always wanted to know…
By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner
One time or another we’ve all experienced that unsettled, mid-gut sensation. Strangely, it always feels the same — whether the cause is dread, pleasurable anticipation, or a pesky upset stomach.
This affliction has gone viral ever since San Diego elected a mayor with the following attributes:
- the habit of straight-talk (Bob Filner says it aloud whenever the emperor has no clothes)
- common sense (he deals with ordinary facts and cuts through subterfuge)
- an agenda oriented toward the broad public welfare (good jobs, neighborhood benefits, local representation, face-to–face interaction)
- independence (no kowtowing to the established and influential downtown elite)
- a sense of humor (sometimes going for the jugular)
- an openly-admitted tendency toward intolerance (he specifically targets local corporate welfare schemes and generous financial giveaways, as well as noxious air, water, and neighborhood pollution)
- ambitious ideas to create a healthy, vibrant, diversified economy and cultural environment in San Diego (maritime/port development, top-notch understanding of the benefits of binational coordination, going ‘green,’ reinvigorating community planning and regeneration, stringent standards for city contracts, endorsement of ‘the arts’)
Yes, Bob Filner is giving a lot of San Diego greybeards a bad case of heartburn. How? by prying open the locked jaws of powerful land developers, tourism profiteers, and respected enablers (bankers, law firms, judges, consultants, radio/TV/news purveyors) whose business has traditionally been to keep the reigning power structure intact and thriving. He’s forced them to swallow a new style of home-town brew and it’s not to their liking.
Filner’s determination to help our city throw off its resistance to change… aversion to conflict… conservative inertia… indifference to the insidious undertow of corruption that has long undermined the conduct of city business… feels toxic to some. BUT —
Mayor Filner is also titillating a new generation of creative, ambitious, forward-looking, and (fingers-crossed) environmentally and socially aware entrepreneurs, political and natural scientists, lawyers, educators, builders, business owners, artists, planners, historians, and other categories of 21st century urbanites with the churnings of pleasurable anticipation.
As more people become aware of the exciting possibilities of working alongside a mayor who is honest and earnest when he promises equal access to the success and rewards of living, raising a family, and/or doing business in San Diego — for all of them it could be Valentine’s Day in our city. EVERY DAY. I, for one, am throwing my heart in the ring.
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman says
Thanks for this important list of Mayor Bob Filner’s excellent qualities: it belongs on the frig and in our wallets to remind us of our incredible good fortune in 2013 to have this person running the City. The watchwords are honest, earnest, intelligent, tough-minded, impatient for positive change, civilized. Not civil — civilized. It’s what we deserve. It’s why we voted for him and why we will support his work.
Great article, and great comments too. Especially love the “burning-love” graphic, a terrific choice! You go, Mayor Bob!
Bob Filner was my most favorite college professor back in 1975 and is definitely my most favorite Mayor. San Diego has a bright future ahead of itself with Filner leading the way. Great article.
The long seated ‘secret’ government of San Diego is well documented. The powerful players have placed San Diego in a difficult situation and Filner is what is needed. Personally I believe he’s making very smart moves; reshaping the fundamentals. As Filner noted, change is unsettling.
John P. Falchi says
Norma you have a habit of putting things very well; in this case you have given us a nice list of Mayor Bob Filner’s virtues. Nevertheless, these same virtues will be turned upside down by the local media, making him look like an ogre. We must have his back in these close encounters with the local power elite. They are already crying out for his recall and he’s only been in office a few months.
Glad that our honorable new mayor has the stones to clash heads of the ruling elite of San Diego, but I am a little upset . Recently the Mayor did a backflip on his medical dispensaries stance and I fell that the majority of his votes came from and based on his stance on this particular issue. I am really hoping that this is not a future trend that is yet to develop …. come on mayor don’t let that B@#*H get to you ….. Stay tough WE ARE BEHIND YOU…
Norma Damashek says
A couple of months ago I wrote a commentary on my NumbersRunner blog called Devouring Bob Filner. I described how the big guns were determined to bring our new mayor down. I also wrote about my worry that Mayor Filner was “at risk of being eaten alive by his famished supporters” who — having been ignored for such a long time — expect him to take care of their issues immediately and in exactly the way they propose. The Mayor is not omnipotent. But he’s smart, experienced, and determined and he’ll figure out how to navigate the maze called city government so he can do what he told us he’d do. For sure we need to fight our own particular battles. But everyone will be better off if we each remember to keep the big (long-range, citywide) picture in mind.
John P. Falchi says
I agree, Norma, no one person in office is omnipotent. He has to carry others with him, and when he doesn’t he will be forced to give way. I am glad that Alan and others are concerned about “Medical Dispensaries” in San Diego. However, we must stay organized on this issue and continue to pressure all of those in office, including the Mayor, to see that justice is done.
Thanks for giving this dandy list to accomplishments to counter the nay-sayers!
Bob Filner was one of my favorite Congressmen because he represented honesty and courage! He remains so as mayor! Go Mayor Filner! We’ve got your back!