By Ernie McCray
With the mayoral election coming up on Tuesday, November 19th, it’s time for one of those “Get Out the Vote” kinds of appeals and I’m up for the deal because voting is what being an American means to me.
But there are folks who don’t vote which I see as an insult against the very notion of a democracy. They cry “What’s the use?” claiming that special interests rule the day and our representatives don’t care about us. Well, there sure is a lot of truth in that but I can’t think of any better reason to vote than to take on such abuses of power.
Voting is at the core of our nation’s soul. The big cats know that well. That’s why they buy folks who’ll heed their will. But we, in a numerical game, which voting is, outnumber them by the millions. And once we learn how to work together and passionately support those who have our interests at heart as the powers-that-be do for their flunkies who do their dirty work so faithfully, we will be on to something. We would turn our lives around. Idealistic, for sure, but true. But those one percent kind of folks, for lack of a better description, count heavily on us not exercising our precious right to have a say.
Why wouldn’t they depend on us being careless in our civic responsibilities when various polls show that many of us are “too busy” to vote, something I can’t identify with. At all. No. I can’t imagine having so much going on in my world that I couldn’t take time to try to make my life and the life of all people better. Along these lines I see our upcoming mayoral election as one that should be about just that: making our lives and the lives of all San Diegans around us better – with the emphasis on all.
We should remember in these moments leading up to election day that it wasn’t too long ago that we voted for a man who rallied us around ourselves, a man who let us know that he would fight for the interests of people who felt that they weren’t being heard and he got right to work on such matters as soon as he took office. He served us on Saturday mornings and showed up at our community meetings in the evening. And, yes, he had a behavior problem from what we’ve been told but that should never take our minds away from keeping a progressive kind of energy alive at City Hall.
Our task is to, with what little time there is left, try to figure out which of the candidates will continue building hope in communities that had never had the mayor’s ear before. As these neighborhoods progress, the better everyone’s quality of life becomes. So some of what we need to know is: Have any of them shared plans for meeting the needs of underserved communities? How “open” are they to working “hands on” in all of our neighborhoods? How are they going to approach putting people back to work? Do they have thoughts regarding how the city can support our schools?
This is a crucial election because it can determine the city’s future, whether or not it will go back to the same old same old, back to our city being in the hands of the corrupt wheelers and dealers and movers and shakers who don’t care in the least about us, the wheeled and dealt and the moved and shaken.
But we can turn that around.
The candidate who has the best answers to serving and making us all better as citizens of this city, should feel us when the vote counts are in.
And so since this is a Get Out the Vote appeal: Get out and VOTE. Please.