Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The broader picture

Hillary rightfully calls for the Athens-Clarke County Commission to push forward with its full slate of legislative requests, but, at the same time, Athens-Clarke County District Five Commissioner David Lynn is right for expressing a healthy does of realism regarding what can and can't get passed by a Republican state legislature.

What to do then? Well, why not elect better state senators and state representatives? It's far beyond time that we started to look at the broader electoral map of the state and get more involved in what's going on rather than just worry about what goes on in our backyard. It's fine and dandy to get all invested in the mayoral race, but if there's gridlock in Atlanta and more restrictive control being handed down from on high, there's not a whole local officials from Watkinsville to Athens can do about it.

Earlier this year, back when I still wrote at Tondee's Tavern, I penned a piece called 'Dear DuBose' that was one part encouraging him not to run for governor and another part suggesting a strategy on making local legislative races of statewide importance. Porter's in for governor - and I'm clear in my support for his candidacy - but the need for a statewide view of the various elections for the Georgia General Assembly remains ...

I say this as someone who wants every Democrat in this state - from those serving in public office to those who merely pull the lever on Election Day - to think of the larger progressive movement, and its goal of creating a diverse and vibrant economy, a strong educational system and a more fair society for all citizens. I say this as someone who wants sound debate on the floor of the State Capitol with various viewpoints bantered back and forth and, for once, a strong progressive vision vigorously defended along with those viewpoints.

I say this as someone who wants to take back the House of Representatives, and I say this as someone who believes you can get us there.

Various commenters, though they may have differing loyalties and different positions on different issues, have all voiced some measure of support for the concept of a statewide campaign aimed at winning back the Georgia House by targeting 10 to 20 races. And by having you at the top of this 'ticket' openly running to become the new Speaker of the House and pledging to work with our new Democratic governor to pass the legislation this state sorely needs.

If you want progressive policy enacted, then it won't be done by progressive commissioners pleading with conservative legislators to get it done. It means taking a look at swing districts across the state - and, contrary to popular belief, they exist - and being willing to send money, support and resources to those areas to get the job done.