“I Would, But….”– What Excuse Do You Have?
Engage and Represent
A couple of weeks ago I asked who among you (within Traverse City) was thinking about running for elected local office. I also asked, if not you then whom in your circle would you support and to inquiry if she was able to be convinced to run. I didn’t want names, but rather quiet nudging. I still prefer no names; there is plenty of time for that.
I’ve also been poking around for potential candidates. I can report back that there is interest among some highly motivated, intelligent and fresh faces. All of whom would be well-rounded choices. Of course, May will likely be their decision period and so we won’t know whose really interested until June or July. A lot can happen in a month and priorities change. You never know what new issue will block someone from considering a run.
I Would, But….
Which gets me to the point of this post: Why don’t
otherwise qualified and passionate people run? (FYI, I firmly believe almost all of us are qualified. It’s the beauty of local politics. It isn’t a system run by politicians, but by neighbors on a rotating basis–or, rather, it should be.)
Here is a list of rationalizations for not running that I’ve heard:
- I just get too angry.
- I don’t have the time.
- I have children.
- I don’t have children.
- The meetings are too long and boring.
- I have attention deficit disorder.
- I’m too quiet.
- I’m too opinionated.
- I use the expletive _______ too much.
- I don’t like to leave my house.
- The fluorescent lights suck the life out of me.
- I write a blog.
- Where’s the Governmental Center?
All of which are perfectly acceptable justifications, because the right candidate needn’t be coerced and must do what is right for themselves first and foremost. Still, this November remains, for those interested in working to make Traverse City a better place, a great opportunity. There could potentially be a strong shift towards applying innovative ideas to the broad themes dear to this blog, namely place-making, mobility issues and community resilience. The right candidate will obviously have interest and ability in more issues than these, but they are an excellent start.
More on all that later…for now, I’m interested in asking readers from anywhere:
What rationalizations can you think of for someone, perhaps
yourself, to not run for local office?
(seriousness not required nor preferred)