Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Less than a week

With less than a week to go before the municipal elections, the frenzy of campaign activity has only intensified. Some candidates' strategy includes mis-stating facts, smearing progressive initiatives and name-calling of other candidates. After months of visiting with different groups and neighborhood organizations around the city, I have come to a few conclusions regarding the previosuly mentioned tactics:

1) Most folks find it unproductive to complain about past Council actions. I, like many folks in Roanoke, don't fully agree with many decisions that have been made in the past. But those decisions are just that -- the past. As a city, we must move forward and look to the future, recognizing that we should learn from mistakes made to avoid such similar decisions in the future. But the future must be our focus.

2) Mis-stating facts and pandering for political reasons is not good for our community. Folks appreciate candidates who will say what they believe, regardless of whether that belief is popular or not. People want to be heard and want to know why a candidate believes what he or she believes, but pandering just for the sake of getting elected does nothing to help move our city forward into the 21st century.

3) Name-calling is unproductive as well. But not only this, it is also disrespectful to the community. We have got to learn to agree to disagree, and to always remember that differences of opinion are not personal. Working together with those you disagree with more often than not results in a better solution than either person may have come up with individually.

I urge voters to thoroughly look at the candidates, what each one says, and make the best decision you can with the information you have. As a city, we have to focus on where we are going 10 and 20 years from now, and recognize that only through working together will we achieve the sort of prosperity and unity that we all desire.

Please vote May 6th -- it is a pivotal time in Roanoke's history, and our citizens should decide the direction we need to head.

As for me, I believe that hope for a future where we all work together to provide opportunity for each and every one of our citizens is of utmost importance.

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