A new Mayor has been elected in our City, and he’s actually a pretty cool guy. He rides his bike to work and has a beard. The only way he’d be cooler is if his bike is compostable. We Seattleites love anything that is compostable—“Look, I got these new tires for my car, and they’re compostable!”
I have been wondering why and how some people go into politics. Looking at Sarah Palin and all the crap she is getting, I feel just a little bit of pity for her. Does anyone deserve this much ridicule? I bet if she weren’t politically ambitious, she’d actually be fun to hang out with: “Come on in, you guys! I baked some cookies. Look at this lovely view of Russia from the kitchen!”
To be a leader is to be a target, which is why I prefer to stay in the background. I like to think of myself as a man of great ideas. Let others act and receive credit. Today, for example, the Mayor-elect’s transition team convened a group of community leaders together to give input on how to start his administration strong. “I’d like the Mayor to move his office,” I said, “I mean, it’s just ridiculous last week making me circle around the block for half an hour trying to find parking downtown and then take two elevators to get to the Department of Human Services on the 58th floor. And what’s with parking stickers that leave residues on my car window! They should make edible glue so that the residues can just be licked off!” The others were struck speechless by my astute observations. I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Mayor appoints me as Director of the Department of Astute Observations or something.
How do people start their political careers? I think in two ways: One, you knew when you were a little girl that you wanted to take over the world and have all-encompassing power over every living thing. Or two, you were pushed into it because no one else wanted to do it and you pulled the short straw. It usually starts small, such as getting harassed to be president of the neighborhood council or PTSA or Facebook Croc Fanclub.
That’s exactly what happened to me. I was recently pulled into running unopposed for a neighborhood council. Seattle has the most diverse district in the US. For months, the neighborhood council had been locked in civil war, with prejudiced homeowners wanting the council to restrict council member to mainly homeowners, while other people felt that was unfair to the minorities, who are less likely to be homeowners. During meetings, where 40 or 50 people were present, insults with thrown, along with yelling and cursing and bitter tension. Someone was physically threatened in the parking lot. The police and outside mediators had to be called in. Finally, the forces of good prevailed, and most of the prejudiced people left to fester in their corner of racism and not-hugged-often-enough-when-they-were-kids bitterness. It’s wacky, considering that neighborhood councils basically have almost no power or funding to do anything and are basically just forums for people to complain and exchange information.
But into this council I go. Terms start in January, but tomorrow is when the slate of officers is announced. I now embark on a new chapter of my life. Will this lead to something more? Will this spark in me a desire for more political ambitions? Will I be able to affect change? A new reign in the council shall take place. Already I am thinking of having round tables instead of imposing square ones. Committees. Yes, there will be committees. There will be a slot of time allocated each meeting so neighbors can complain about lack of composting bins, sure, but we will also work together build a strong vision for our neighborhood, a vision of peace and harmony and potlucks. I feel it. I’m starting to feel power coursing through my veins.
What should I do first as the council president? Let me know. Otherwise: Edible glue onto these parking stickers.