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Popularity or purpose?

08.25.2009 by André Natta · → Leave a comment

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Today people will visit the polls throughout Birmingham, AL to determine whether or not nine individuals that currently serve us as city councilors should be re-elected for another term or if new leaders are required. As reported yesterday on WBHM, it can be a little confusing when you see so many different signs lining the streets… but should that be the only measure of a candidate?

There has been extensive coverage of all of the candidates from numerous mainstream and alternative outlets. We’ve even had folks tell us we should or should not vote for. The idea of letting someone else decide for me seems a little insane, especially if all you’re going to do later on is complain about how it wasn’t your choice. Being the type of city that we are, while we may not know about a candidate’s position, we’re ready to have an excuse to party so we can start preparing for four years from now.

While bhamterminal.com probably did not help you decide who you need to vote for (as it’s never been our policy, despite some thinking and hoping otherwise), wouldn’t it make more sense to stop for a moment and decide whether or not you’re going to vote for a candidate because of what they believe and what you think they can do instead of whether or not you know them or just because you know their name? Can they speak on an issue that you believe in passionately or do they get confused between green building and green grocers? Do they try to ride one project to a re-election or do they give you new ideas about how their city can change for the better and what they’re willing to advocate for to help it get there?

Every election is described as the most important one ever, regardless of where you live and what’s at stake. I’d challenge you to watch or listen to today’s City Council meeting (or check it out later after it’s been archived). I’d challenge you do check out what you don’t like about any issues and think about just how it could be changed. When the polls close this evening at 7 p.m., I’d hope that a quick look at who currently represents you and their opponents just may move you to head to the polls.

Is it really about how many signs you have up along the streets, the number of folks who know your name or the capability of representing a city that desperately needs to lose its apathetic attitude when it comes to matters of importance or its future? Today will be yet another chapter in Birmingham’s search to find out which one they are more comfortable with.

André Natta is the stationmaster for bhamterminal.com.

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