The observations of a 50 something with lots of experience in politics, government, life and learning.
Friday, April 14, 2006
Berkshire Hampshire Franklin/Pittsfield Williamstown Stockbridge
Four weeks as a candidate and I'm still standing... Peter Larkin is out. We won't go into that because it would take an entire blog entry and in reality that will be part of the memoirs no matter how the election goes. And have I learned a lot. I've had lots of lunches and breakfasts with lots of people. Some are straightforward with me (much appreciated....) Some are more indirect verging on obtuse. That's harder for me because I'm a "what you see is what you get" kind of person. Some people are obviously speaking in code and I'm supposed to discern the truth. Very complex and often below the radar but I guess it's a case of "cultural competency" -- I have to learn to live in their territory/world rather than introducing them to mine. The most fun things are the unexpected, serendipitous happenings that may end up shaping my world profoundly. A chance encounter with someone who's impressed by something I say. Being introduced to a dynamic couple in Franklin County who have "been there, done that" and have lots of wisdom. Finding friends who know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody....Getting a call from a virtual stranger who gives me one of the best ideas of the campaign, gratis. I guess it's no surprise that the biggest obstacle I have to overcome is geography. I do not live in Pittsfield. I work in Pittsfield, but unfortunately, the management won't let me spend the night at the office. It makes me ponder the nature of "belonging" and "community." Are we Western MA or Berkshire County, or North/Central/South County or individual towns/cities? And what does each construct say about our ability to solve problems and work on common solutions? I did get to float my idea about a sci/tech magnet high school in Pittsfield for a group this a.m. and got a few encouraging nods, so that was a plus. The hardest thing is that we are a small community of 160,000 souls. Everyone knows everyone and no one wants to "take sides" or "commit" because they know everyone/owe everyone/love everyone. And some people might pay a price for making a commitment, and who among us is willing to do that over a political race? All I can control is how hard I work, how many people I meet and what ideas I promote. The rest is up to the voters.
Posted by Diva of Demographics at 9:09 PM