The Other Messages Candidates Send


A few days ago, I described an observation of a mayoral candidate who apparently doesn’t want to hear your complaint unless you have the solutions already worked out.

This I take as disregard for the oath of office, specifically as concerns equal treatment for all.

I didn’t mean to make the example a guessing game, but rather a cautionary tale. Both past and current administrations have made similar statements, and they are/have been used to disregard, marginalize, and otherwise discourage citizens who disagree with their aims and practices. If you think citizens shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed upon a rule that doesn’t actually exist in the law, shouldn’t you meet candidates who use the same language with a bit of skepticism?

Or candidates who don’t seem as concerned with proper procedure as we are?

Or candidates who are reluctant to give out their contact information?

I love policy. You know I do. But all the clever policy ideas in the world will not serve us if we continue to pack our council with people who are too timid or arrogant to uphold the oath, who believe the ends justify the means, or who simply have no capacity for the respect, accessibility, and inclusiveness required in true public servants.

We must go deeper. And we do it by paying as much attention as we possibly can.