Wednesday, July 21, 2021
#202 / Local Leaders
I was a locally-elected official for twenty years, having been elected five times to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. I was the statewide chairperson of the California Local Government Commission, and I helped form and lead an OCS Local Government Coordination Program that began in Santa Cruz County and that ultimately mobilized votes in Washington, D.C. that stopped new offshore oil drilling, nationwide, for twenty-seven years.*
Based on my personal experience, I have a great deal of confidence that local government officials can have an extremely important impact on issues of local, statewide, and even national importance. To provide some examples of what I mean, let me introduce you to a short article and to a very long book that support that thesis. They are both worth reading.
The shorter piece I am recommending is titled, "Lina Hidalgo's Political Rise." Click on that link and you will find yourself on The New Yorker website, where Chief Executive of Houston, Texas in 2018. It's a fascinating and inspiring story - at least I think so.
The Houston Chronicle has apparently claimed that "Hidalgo puts principle over politics at her own peril."
The importance of standing up for principle against politics is the major theme of Kucinich's book.
(1) - https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/lina-hidalgos-political-rise
(2) - https://www.cleveland.com/cityhall/2020/12/dennis-kucinich-files-paperwork-to-raise-money-for-potential-cleveland-mayoral-run-in-2021.html
* My friend Richard Charter, who is still working on this issue, gets the major credit for that!