I appreciate Mr. Thackeray’s letter in the Boulder Monitor, March 20, 2019, because I have been trying to understand the results of the last election.
The issues raised in Mr. Thackeray’s letter: abortion, immigration, confirmation of Presidential nominations, socialism—all of these are important issues and are certainly critical when one decides who to vote for in national elections.
To my thinking, local politics are different. With the exception of the State Representative, all of our County officials(Commissioners, Clerk of Court, Sheriff, JP) run as non-partisan—They run on the issues that are important to our county like schools, fire departments, water & sewer systems, flooding, economic growth, housing, infrastructure, zoning and planning. I chose to run because I believed that our Representative should represent all of those interests and work with County Officials and our communities to further those interests in the state legislature.
Because Jefferson County officials are primarily Independent/Non-Partisan and run for office as such, I also expected that our local voters would have experience looking at candidate qualification, asking questions, attending forums and finding out where the candidates stand on the issues that affect their lives and the lives of their families. Instead, I saw 40-45 people at local forums and discovered that most of the information we sent out to tell people about issues, was 86’ed before it was read.
Our current system requires that you run as a Democrat or a Republican in the legislative race. I ran as a Democrat because I do believe in some basic democrat values, like public education, infrastructure support and free and fair elections. But I was not running to be a Democrat or a Republican at the state legislature; I was running to be a community representative, an advocate for the county.
Mr. Thackeray says he will never vote for a democrat because of his understanding of the Democrat position on national issues. Those national issues are important and we all need to educate ourselves in the best way we can and vote with our conscience and our heart. In fact, I know that there is a move afoot to begin community conversations on these issues. The folks who will be doing these meetings are trained at working with local communities to sit down and talk to each other over partisan line. I hope these events, which will be scheduled beginning this fall, are successful.
But, by buying into extreme partisanship inn our local elections, I would suggest that we are driving down a self defeating highway. I think its time to meet up at a rest stop and maybe share a cup of coffee. We are, after all, all on the same road.