After the Recall: thinking globally, acting locally

Dear friends of MoD,

Since June 5th, I've been neglecting the blog - and the perpetually fundraising governor - to attend to other things, like catching up on other work and making jam and taking a vacation and generally licking the wounds inflicted by having tried my hardest, and lost.  

Except that we didn't lose, exactly.  Where I stand, as a matter of fact, we won. And big. Walker lost in Sun Prairie by 6 percentage points MORE than he lost here in 2010 - and with 2000 new voter registrations and 84% voter turnout.  Locally, we got the heck out of the vote.  And we got people engaged. And it worked.

My first published article is a cover story! Art by Matt Mignanelli
So it's not like I've just been moping around these last two months; it only took about a week to come to terms with the embarrassing fact that Scott Walker is still our governor. I've just been too busy to write to that guy. I've been busy working and thinking, and meeting with my friends at SPARC - our local grassroots action team - to plan what's next for keeping people involved, engaged and informed.  To this end, I spent a ton of time working on this article - my first real published piece, and it made the cover of this week's Isthmus! woot! feeling pretty giddy about that! - on local politics, which I hope will spark some real dialogue and get people talking about how they might get more involved - and maybe even run for office.

Writing this article was a challenge, and a real learning experience. I interviewed all kinds of people to write this piece: the current mayor, the old mayor, the city clerk, other elected officials and party people, other grassroots activists...and let me tell you, this article is the tip of the iceberg here in Sun Prairie: there was a ton of information I didn't include either because sources didn't want to go on record for fear of retaliation or because the things they shared weren't so much "news" as they were "incredibly unpleasant and/or accusatory reflections" on the character of some of our local officials.  And I'm not out to slander anyone: I just want people who aren't paying attention to start doing so, and people who are being paid to represent the people who elected them to do so with integrity, and an honest respect for the fact that the majority of people in our city share the progressive values that make our community a great place to live.  And specifically I would like The Star to stop pretending the minority opinion is the prevailing perspective in Sun Prairie, because it's not.  And the events of the last year are not new proof of it: Sun Prairie always votes blue for state and national elections, as far back as I looked. And when given a clear choice, we almost always choose the progressive candidate over the conservative one.  The problem is that we often don't get to choose: people run unopposed all the time.  No one wants to run for office. I'm hoping that will change.

And not just in Sun Prairie, where we had two great grassroots candidates - Nick Zweifel and Tiffany Keogh - step up this year, but all over the state. All  over the country.  Getting people who care more about local issues than party politics to run local government is the first best step to taking politics back from the special interests who have it in the death-grip that has made possible such unthinkable horrors as the possibility of a RMONEY/RAYN ticket.

So that's where I am now. And that's where we all are: in our own backyards, in our own hometowns, trying to make sense of how we can best make our worlds just a little bit better while we stave off those who would throw granny under the bus while they tie the dog to the top of it and hurdle down the highway to stop on our very own Main Street and try to kiss my babies.  And no thanks to that. They can keep their mitts away from my babies (and their schools), at the minimum.  But the more good people we have in City Hall standing up for what all of us want - and not just what their party wants, or what their sponsors want - the easier it will be to keep our babies out of their clutches and keep our grannies away from the bus and keep our towns the way we like them: friendly, open, honest, and blue.

Hope you like the article. Let me know what you think.


1 comment:

  1. I like this post and your Isthmus article even better than your jam, which is pretty darned good!