I hope a lot of people agree that in many ways this has been one of the best, most active, most involved election seasons we've seen in Evanston. A common refrain is that some of the choices are tough, and I agree. That's a good thing, not a bad one, because it forces the candidates to work harder, and us to look more deeply. And the deeper we look, sometimes the harder the choice, because rarely will we agree completely with all of a candidate's stands or record. In a campaign of any length, gaffes and inartfully-worded comments are also inevitable. A few feathers are probably ruffled here and there. But in the end we have to choose; once having chosen, the calibre of the offerings for tomorrow indicates that coming together, to work together, should be easier after this election than in some others.
I respect and thank all those who, directly or through a campaign, have posted their support of a candidate here. Since my leanings and reasoning apparently interest some, I'm posting them here now.
For mayor, I am supporting Liz Tisdahl. Like CSNA itself I see pluses in all the candidates and feel that this race has narrowed. Like the Daily I also see the minuses as well as pluses in "experience," given City decisionmaking these past 6 years. However, the job of mayor as currently defined is more parliamentary than activist. To the extent that pulling coalitions together to make the changes we need requires mustering support from many of the myriad sectors in Evanston, Liz just has more tools at her disposal right now, especially considering the Council will have at least four returning aldermen. Her political support will help Evanston. And I think her view of what Evanston should become is pretty close to most Evanstonians'.
Barnaby Dinges has raised some very important points in this election, that resonate with many voters, and I hope that if not victorious in this race he, like the other two candidates, will maintain a continued high level of involvement.
In the hotly-contested 7th Ward I am in accord with the CSNA Board evaluation and support Jane Grover. John Zbesko's a great guy, with generally good instincts, former anti-NU "Fair Share" activism excepted. But I've been impressed with Jane's depth, thought her CSNA forum and questionnaire answers tops, and have confidence in her ability to not just reach the right decisions, but in a style that builds support along the way.
In my own ward, I am supporting Mark Tendam. There will be a lot of talk in the next few years about making government "leaner and meaner;" government is already plenty mean, and needs to be cleaner and greener. I sense in Mark Tendam compassion for those who might otherwise be marginalized; we need this on the Council, to balance less charitable municipal impulses. I would have liked to see more specifics in all of the 6th Ward campaigns, and more involvement in our big issues of the past few years. But I believe Mark will be both open-minded, and accessible.
There is risk in any endorsement; not just in venturing out from political "safety," but because we've all been burned before by candidates who turned out, a few years later, much different than how they campaigned (a certain ex-governor comes to mind, but there are plenty other examples). The key is to keep politicians responsive to the polis. The more who vote, and who express support one way or the other, the better our chances of doing this.
Good things have been rightly said about many candidates in this election season; no matter who wins, I am hoping for a more responsive City government.