Current economic realities in California and across the United States demonstrate that Culver City ’s struggles in local governance are commonplace at the moment, and Culver City is doing better than many cities to cope with the present and plan for the future. Therefore, for this City Council election, it is less the WHAT of a candidate’s platform that concerns me than the HOW, since the WHAT portion will be constrained to the obvious for the foreseeable future.
HOW a council person operates – that will determine the functionality, the creativity and the problem-solving ability of our council even in the situations we cannot now predict. That’s really important to me. So, for this election cycle, I’m thinking about HOW I’d like to see my council people operate while keeping our city servicing the community appropriately.
I want my representatives to remember first and foremost that the city government works for the citizens. This means listening and considering citizens’ views without condescension and with an open mind, no matter how many times a point of view has been heard before. It also means thinking of the community as partner rather than an obstacle, and keeping the business of the City fully transparent to us as a result. I believe that Meghan Sahli-Wells has made this operating principle the absolute foundation of her community activism and of her current campaign for City Council. I believe that Meghan Sahli-Wells will not forget this as a City Council representative and will never abandon citizens’ voices in favor of bureaucracy or ease.
I want my representatives to accept what government can’t do at this or that moment and move beyond that to focus on what can be done, by the government itself but more importantly by the citizens themselves with or without government support. “Thinking outside the box” has become quite a cliché, but it is never so necessary as during a financial crisis. Meghan Sahli-Wells calls this changing a “Yes, But” mentality, which is stultifying and leaves us stymied, into a “Yes, And” mentality, which focuses on the resources that exist within the community as well as within the government to find alternative ways to meet needs. I know that it is very important to Meghan Sahli-Wells to find the way to say “this we can do,” in other words, to take the “Yes, And” approach. Beyond that, I believe that Meghan Sahli-Wells’s experience with community-government partnerships as well as with community-based action-groups will enable her to build the bridges and discover the resources that will make those unconventional solutions come to fruition.
So, this is HOW I’m voting for Culver City ’s City Council: Meghan Sahli-Wells. I hope you will, too.