NOTE: You can check out our election coverage over at Election ’07
The first “serious” poll that we ran focused on what should be one of the major issues in the city of Birmingham as it continues to move forward at the beginning of the 21st century : The 2007 mayoral election.
I wanted to see if anyone would say anything or if people even cared.
I really did not know what to expect. I did know that we were purposely going to leave out the “none of the above” option. We weren’t sure how that omission would be received (or if it would even be noticed).
A comment was posted that most likely echoed the concerns of those who’d chosen not to participate (also making us aware of the fact that people did notice the omission). The dialogue that followed confirmed that the best thing that we could do is to encourage others to not only get involved in the process, but to make sure that we do our part to help people decide who their choice for the mayor’s job is.
We are going to take a stance that may surprise some as a result: we’re not going to endorse any candidate in the upcoming mayoral elections.
What we are going to do is provide those that visit The Terminal with as much information as possible to allow those living in the city limits the opportunity to make an informed decision come October (and November if necessary). This will hopefully include interviews and/or profiles with the candidates and looking at some of the issues that you will hopefully identify as important in the coming days.
Everyone is waiting for the leader to emerge, someone that can guide Birmingham where it needs to go. If you think of it in those terms, you may never quite find the ideal person, though you may find someone that can do their part and use their ideals to make Birmingham and most of central Alabama better. This is one of those times where waiting may lead some voters to sit it out. Maybe it should not be a question of leadership but of stewardship before us in October.
I invite any candidate running for mayor to contact me at email@example.com so that we can begin this process.
We also hope to include any opportunities to register to vote on the Timetable calendar in the coming months.
The history of low voter turnout locally in recent years is well documented and maybe helping to get the word out about registration opportunities and helping to encourage people to do so early will help in some way.
Birmingham has been referred to by some as “The City of Perpetual Promise”. This upcoming election in October is essentially about who takes the reins of the city’s future to guide it so that its “promise” becomes its reality.
The ironic thing is that the city and its surrounding area are enjoying a period of growth and excitement, despite some not wanting to believe it. That’s one of the reasons we try to show the promise and growth every week in our corner of the blogosphere.
I’m not quite sure what some of our decisions will get us labeled; people are constantly trying to assign labels to things in hopes that it will make things easier. I’m hoping for “interesting” myself.
André Natta is the managing editor of The Terminal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.