Tuesday, November 6, 2007

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one"

I don't usually write about local politics here but since it's Election Day and I can't pass up an opportunity to post about Election Day, I'm going to treat with you with "The Top 10 Reasons I'm Voting for Ralph Becker for Salt Lake City Mayor."*

10. While that other guy might be "the reasonable guy," Ralph is the nice guy. In the last few years, I have gotten to know Ralph and am still shocked about how absolutely NICE he is.

9. Planning. As a professional planner/environmental attorney, I believe Ralph has the most experience to plan for the future of Salt Lake City. We desperately need some good planning and expanding instead of the crap that's been going on for 12 years. Salt Lake City is kinda in a crisis. Main street and other downtown businesses have been destroyed because of bad planning.

8. He walks the walk and talks the talk. He is so committed to sound environmental policies that he usually walks or rides his bike everywhere (but when he does drive, it's in his Jeep powered by biodiesel). He also lives minimally, uses recycled paper for everything and one can tell he genuinely cares about the environment.

7. He's committed. Even when Ralph has not had an opponent as a State Rep, he still canvassed his entire district so he could get to know his constituents better. He usually knocked on every door and would stick around and listen to people for as long as it took. A few years ago, at the Avenues Street Fair, his opponent for the House was at a table next to the one I was at. Her husband said hello to people as they passed by and if they stopped to talk to him, he would give them information. One young couple said, "Oh, I'm sorry. I moved to the Avenues because of Ralph Becker and would never vote for anyone else." During his mayoral campaign, Ralph, his staff and volunteers have canvassed the city twice. Why? Because he cares.

6. He's Blueprint Man! Have you read his blueprints? I must say, they are quite extensive. I know that he has spent a lot of time thinking about these plans and how to make SLC a better place to live. He chose to live here and would do whatever it took to make it a great place to live for his children and grandchildren.

5. He's hot. For a guy who's old enough to be my dad, well, let's just say he's attractive (as well as the men on his campaign staff).

4. A campaign like no other. I believe that professors, political scientists, campaigners, elected officials and the like will be talking about this campaign for years. It was the best run campaign I have ever seen. It was well organized and nothing was taken for granted. The canvassing effort the campaign implemented was unlike anything I have ever seen. They targeted so well, knew exactly how many votes they needed and figured out who those voters were. It was amazing to witness and I wish I had jumped on board sooner.

3. It's fun to say, "I'm Ralphing for Mayor!"

2. Honesty and decency are hard to find these days in elected officials. But you can find them in Ralph. For years he has fought for those who are not usually represented and sponsored legislation for more ethics and accountability for his colleagues on Capitol Hill. Even when he was the only one voting for, he never backed down from his position on issues. He is true to his word.

1. Because of what happened Sunday. As the crowd waited for President Clinton on Sunday, we listened to multiple speakers and chatted with each other. I was sitting on the front row, on the aisle. Ralph's seat was next to mine, across the aisle. As he walked in looking for his seat, he stopped to shake my hand. Suddenly, people began to clap and cheer. Soon, the crowd around us was on their feet cheering for him. He looked at me and mouthed, "What's going on?" I replied, "They are cheering for you, Ralph, the next Mayor of Salt Lake." He squeezed my hand tighter and tears began to well in his eyes. He was very touched. He could barely say thank you. I believe that Ralph, unlike many elected officials and politicians that I know, is in this business because he believes in helping people. It's not about him, it's about all of us.

*Technically, I voted on Friday.


eleka nahmen said...

Fabulous, fabulous post. I hope he sees it someday.