Is it possible to win an election via grassroots social media with no established party affiliation whatsoever?

In Long Beach we not only have sand in our shoes, but politics in our socks, underpants, pants, bras (when applicable), shirts and hats. Politics are just so polarized around here, almost all conversation on this blog veers toward it. It’s an obsession that many of you cannot seem to get away from. Heck, I’m convinced some of you think about local politics more than sex or pizza. Many of you like to point fingers at the current administration, the last administration, the one before that and the one before that and the one before that. There are so many accusations of nepotism, corruption, party boss monarchs. When will it end? Let’s face it: the politics in Long Beach is just too much.

This got me thinking. Perhaps we need to start anew. A clean slate. Do away with our current two-party dominant system. Take out the name calling, generalizing and bickering. Really vote on merit instead of party-line.

Without getting into specifics of ballot access requirements for political candidates in New York, do you think it’s possible to run a successful grassroots campaign with no established party affiliation whatsoever via social media? I specifically mean in Long Beach where around 7000 or so voted last election.

I think it could be possible. I see these amazing and influential groups forming, particular on Facebook with large amounts of followers. I could see them as game changers when it comes to swaying votes. What about actually picking a candidate? What do you think? NY State says you need to have some sort of party name, so I would call it The Social Network Party.

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66 thoughts on “Is it possible to win an election via grassroots social media with no established party affiliation whatsoever?”

  1. Definitely possible, Anthony. The Tea Party movement was one example. But look what happened to them. The hard part is keeping the New Party independent and keeping the spoilers, hijackers and hangers-ons at bay. Remember that power corrupts.

  2. DEFINITELY! And this is what we need! Your blog, Project 11561, the various less organized but equally committed LBers who are ready to step away from this dysfunctional model of two party patronage driven local politics. May one of you very bright, civic minded young ones throw your hat into the ring. May the party bosses shutter.

  3. Anthony, absolutely! The beautify of your blog and those FB groups is how we all share information and talk. Oh, those politicians hate when we talk to each other 😉

  4. Ok let’s play this game Anthony. You need to organize the group, assign rank, send people out to get the petitions signed, keep motivation up, find candidates who speak relatively well and are smart, get them on campaign trail with your rank and file, etc… and if you pull that off you still risk losing to a major party or being the spoiler.

    Not saying it can’t be done but the majority parties have a hard time keeping it together. And to Eddies point look at the tea party… I applaud your spirit and look forward to this new third party!

  5. Yep, Victor. Both party leaders have told me that their biggest problem is finding candidates who want to serve in local government who aren’t complete nuts. The job’s somewhat thankless.

  6. Good question Miss Liz. I think Victor answered it to some extent. It wouldn’t be easy. But my sense is that organized civic groups might be able to identify some capable commited fresh blood with no previous local party affiliations who would be willing to give it a go if they knew they had this wellspring of support. Maybe I’m dead wrong. As Eddie writes “Both party leaders have told me that their biggest problem is finding candidates who want to serve in local government who aren’t complete nuts. The job’s somewhat thankless.” While I don’t doubt this for a minute, this is the opinion of party leaders who don’t seek truly independent thinkers. Between this blog, and all kinds of other networking that this fossil knows about but doesn’t participate in, the time might have come to make Anthony’s grassroots independent “dream” possible. My talk is cheap… I know.

  7. What a great idea!! The LB grass roots movement on Facebook alone since Sandy made positive and good things happen in the city. Caring people doing great deeds for their neighbors and town – getting things done and bringing the real issues to the forefront. Right on!

  8. maybe we make signs for the candidates, but put trackable GPS devices on them so we can find them when they are removed by city workers and/or LBPD at the behest of City Hall

  9. Alison hope has zero to do with it. People need to get off their lazy apathetic asses and do something to make it happen. It needs to be organic for it to work because it will be thankless (as mentioned above) and self motivation is the only way.

  10. Let’s be real…what are the key issues this party will run on and what are the positions? For instance, what are the positions on :
    – Taxes
    – Debt
    – Schools
    – Hiring, firing and salaries of existing workers
    – Hospital plan
    – Zoning Board (rescinding 15-story allowance)
    – Comprehensive plan (implement 2007 plan or update…quaint city or visitor friendly)

    And, if you actually get agreement on these and other issues suggest you get someone who knows finance and state politics to assess the plan. And, oh, you may want to hear more voices than just those on social media.

    Anthony, and others, give it try if you think it’s worthwhile. Suggest you get answers to the above issues before you spend too much energy.

    My suggestion, however, would be to identify the most important issue and pursue it, through social media, with the existing people in power. My experience is that they will often work with you, particularly if you can represent 4000 votes.

    Your thoughts?

  11. no no no, i don’t plan on creating a political party. it was more of just a question: In small city like Long Beach, can the rules be changed? I am not saying I am running for office either – being on council is a tough and thankless job. Quite frankly, I am not qualified even if I wanted to.

    My main point was how social media is changing the world with how we communicate. People in LB seem to be so upset with both parties, could social media be a way for those who don’t want to play the political game to get elected? Provide that person has a platform people would stand behind.

    I guess I should have been more clear: to run a campaign requires a great deal of money, fund raisers, making promises, creating signs, etc. Here on the internet, you have a large audience already. If a person was serious enough to run on a very local level (city council), could it work without the red tape of dealing with a party.

  12. Anthony, thanks for the clarification that you are not seeking another political party, but the question remains: which issue(s) and what position(s)?

    I think you could be successful with one or more of the following approaches:

    – List 10 issues and ask the social media crowd which is the one they want to pursue, and follow with another question on the position on this issue.
    – Skip the first step above, you pick an issue, and ask social media crowd what is the position?

    In either case, use social media to capture how many support/oppose the position? Armed with that data schedule meeting with city to present the data (both problem and solution). Feed back to social media crowd the results of the meeting.

    That’s the approach I have found has worked. It would be nice to expand the power of social media to LB.

  13. ‘what issue’ and ‘what position’ are of course two questions that are very important, for sure.

    my point being: politics, in general, seems so polarized here. It’s so left and right. With the use of social media, a person could probably gain support and not have to do the tradition campaigning or promises. this is strictly on a local LB level.

    “Hey, vote for me. My issues include: parking, overdevelopment, quaint downtown and free cupcakes every tuesday for all. I am independent, will do what’s best for LB and will only answer to you and not a party boss.”

    There are some smart people out there who maybe would run, but don’t want to play by the rules of a political party.

    Again, I don’t know much about the process or how being a politician works, but social media, networking and reaching out to people could eliminate the old traditional way, on a small level such as long beach.

  14. Anthony, answering your original question: I don’t think “social media” yet has the clout to win an election. Only a small percentage of voters (16% according to the National Democratic Committee) use social media, and a good part of voters are blindly devoted to a single party.

    Those folks who read here, on Patch and on FB are the ones who are concerned and involved. Here in LB and perhaps elsewhere we get confirmation each year that few voters are actually concerned or involved in their communities. They don’t even know what their property taxes are!

    But times are changing, and the continuously evolving electronic media will be playing a bigger and bigger role in informing the voter.

  15. Very good points and I am sure you are right. On a simpler level, I was looking at the most recent election results (http://www.seabythecity.com/?p=20640) . Correct me if I am wrong, but would you say around 7000 people voted in LB?

    So 7000 compared to social media followers, many who could be voters in LB:

    Some facebook groups, such as Project 11561 is hovering around 3000 followers. Long Beach Matters To You has almost 4000 followers. I have about 1200 on my facebook site, but this blog has a lot of readers For example, yesterday it got 2128 hits (photo below). It’s a large audience!

  16. Also, I want to be clear that I do like Jack and most members of our council.This topic is not directed towards them.

    There just always appears to be so much frustration towards whatever party is in control, whether dem or rep. You won’t believe how many stories I hear or read. People emailing me, asking to post things, plus comments that are posted on the blog.

    It almost makes me wish we had no party system whatsoever and we elect people on merit and not party line. I know that is a fantasy, but looking at social media and what is going on there is pretty interesting. It could one day be a game changer. we might not be there yet, but one day we will.

  17. There will always be parties here because Long Beach City is a huge source of patronage. There are many good paying appointed jobs here.

    What percentage, Anthony, of those ‘Net readers do you think are voters in minor local elections? Use your viewing friends as examples.

  18. I think an individual could run a campaign and get attention without being part of a major party here, but would they be allowed in the debates? The way there’s are structured for national elections, keeping third party candidates out of the debate are the one of the few things the republicans and democrats agree on. I don’t know how local elections work here.

    Creating a third party seems unlikely. If it has any success it will just become an arm of the major party it is more alike, ie. tea party.

  19. It’s a monumental job to get on the ballot, but with a homegrown group, it can be done.

    Interesting figures, Anthony. Social Media is certainly a growing “group” so naturally “voters who use social media” is growing also. Perhaps the days of the dead and nursing home inmates stuffing the ballot box are ending.

    Here’s another question Anthony — do you find that Social Media is polarized politically? Is it predominated by middle-class younger folks who tend to vote a certain way?

    I find FB bloggers to seem to be liberal leaning while Newsday Web comments are radically conservative. Do you think a Social Media-led campaign would lean a certain way, or would it be representative of the population at large? Would the “social media candidate” be like a chameleon and change colors on different Web sites?

    Another problem is that anyone can write anything. Would social media be hijacked and manipulated by semi-professional and politically driven flamers? That’s exactly what happens now in the mainstream media. All hell might break loose on these sites.

  20. very good points. all hell does break loose all the time! the patch is insane. I do my best to calm conversations on here. I am glad this thread is fairly civilized, informative and to the point. The Hospital thread on the other hand….

    But I do agree with social media being polarized as well. I am guilty myself of that.

  21. Talking about IDIOT’S, rather than having a “Beer Submit” hundreds of miles away from the Boarder to discuss the illegal immigration crisis with Gov. Rick Perry. during his two-day fundraising trip to Texas, to discus the Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children, why don’t Obama just send those kids back to where they came from?

  22. “Let’s be real…what are the key issues this party will run on and what are the positions? For instance, what are the positions on :
    – Taxes
    – Debt
    – Schools
    – Hiring, firing and salaries of existing workers
    – Hospital plan
    – Zoning Board (rescinding 15-story allowance)
    – Comprehensive plan (implement 2007 plan or update…quaint city or visitor friendly).”
    Gosh Ed, I’ve yet to see either of the two parties that vie for our local votes articulate any of their positions on issues related to this clearly or honestly. You overstate. The council has no meaningful authority in at least two of the areas you’ve enumerated. As Anthony stated at the get go, he is not advocating for a new party but questioning whether or not a smart, civic minded, unaffiliated to “the power parties” independent can be identified and elected as a questioning voice on the council, a hedge against blatant patronage and self interest driven policy(read real estate interest in 2014). Not easy, but possible. And given the status quo, what harm done? One recent cadidate to the council has used his election as a stepping stone to higher office in less than a year. Previous admin had conflicts of interest with respect to LBPD policy. I would welcome one independent who would stand above the fray and talk their truth. I think social media support could enable that… long shot, but real.

  23. Dear Trying, you suggest a “smart, civic-minded, unaffiliated to the power parties independent”. Is it sufficient that they are registered as an Indepedent or would you rather know what their position is on various issues? My preference is to vote on issues rather than just party affiliation.

    The process to identify this person you seek is worthwhile but may likely be difficult. My preference is to pursue issues rather than a political candidate.

    You said that not all issues are under the purview of the City Council. All the more reason to pursue issues rather than just one Independent member who can easily be out-voted.

    Finally, you ask “what harm done?” by trying this. The harm is that it will likely not succeed, the polarization associated with choosing the Independent could be a negative, and we should spend energy on winnable issues if that’s our best chance for success.

  24. I think energy would be better spent mobilizing people around issues. Not just online, but out in public. The lack of attention LB gets with regard to local issues and what can only be called corruption is disheartening.

  25. The individual identified likely has already been involved in various civic undertakings. The fact that civic minded groups concerned about “patronage driven politics as always” have decided to “get behind” this individual would be meaningful to me. The fact that said civic organization could provide forum for the candidates views on key issues that the City government has authority on (not schools, not hospital) would be valuable… unlike some candidates who are coached by party bosses. Yes, this would be new, is highly unlikely, but a possible remedy to what is essentially a insiders game that has played out for decades. Like Anthony, I voted for and support the current administration, but I know the danger of one party rule and wonder whether the opposition party, given the history, can produce a voice that is not beholden to the party’s larger needs. The harm is that “it will likely not succeed”? And you suggest that we can be more polarized than we are with the two parties at play? Because a true independent who smart, young, honest and earnest runs with grassroots support derived locally supported by websites? I can’t imagine any greater harm on the local level than the status quo playing out forever. Back and forth, patronage demands and accusations? No this candidate, this extreme long shot, this person who has no further political aspirations, this process that could discover this person who talks straight, can’t be bought, will be a breath of fresh air.

  26. i think our current City Council & Manager need to go and whoever is their leader(Zapon??sp).. You join a City Council because you want to help install changes not use it as a chance to further your career ,as 2 of our current members are..Step up and do the right thing for our City -the same way as you would do if this was your family.. Stop with all the underhanded BS & just do the right thing… our current City Gov should be investigated, the fraud is unreal…

  27. Norah, if you have evidence of fraud it’s your civic duty to report it.

    If you don’t have evidence then your comments are irresponsibly inflammatory, unjustified, absurd and a damn shame.

  28. Ed Glister, unless your head is in the sand, the fraud is obvious. Istar zoning, healthy trees eradicated by fraud-convicted convicts, missing money at Beach Park, child abuse findings by the State at the rec, Councilman jailed for benefits fraud, $300K police officers. Shall I add $120 million in new debt, overtime paid with bonds? $100K bonuses to political hacks, and City engineer with no qualifications, a Comptroller with no qualifications? Like most party-loyal parasites, you respond by name-calling. Why not be open and post your affiliation to this fraud?

  29. I think Todd Kaminsky is a perfect example of a social media grassroots candidate. Todd isn’t supported by the LB establishment i.e. Zapson and company. He is supported by the civics, project 11561, Seabythecity, and lots of people who don’t normally pay attention. You can see his vote for Todd signs on houses that don’t put up signs because they know he is for the residents and by the residents. Now we need 3 more like Todd to step-up. How do you overthrow Zapson and company and start a new Dem. Clubhouse? Our current council sadly just follow Zapson lead and don’t call our CM to task on some of his BS.

  30. Joseph- Ed did not resort to name calling. He’s a man of solid character who’s done a ton for this community. He simply stated his opinion that unsupported accusations are irresponsible (and a few other things).

    Yours is the first comment in this thread that devolved into name calling. I sincerely hope such comments begin and end there. Up until now, this has been a very civilized, informed and fascinating discussion. Kudos to all, for that.

  31. Joe, your comments bring out the point I was making. I didn’t say there was no fraud, just don’t throw the phrase around haphazardly. Prove it.

    Let’s look at your examples. I too was very unhappy with the IStar zoning. It didn’t smell right. But unless you have proof of fraud you’ve crossed the line by “yelling fire”.

    Your willingness to put a fraud label on “new debt”, “healthy trees eradicated” and “$300k police officers” demonstrates you’re prone to premature ejaculation.

    And thanks for throwing the label “party-loyal parasite” on me and suggesting I have “an affiliation to this fraud”. FYI, I am a registered Republican who has voted for both Republican, Democrat and a Independent candidates depending on the issue. In fact, I’m probably an Independent more often than not.

    And, I worked as an Executive-on-Loan to the Mayor of New York City helping to reduce several hundred million dollars of wasteful spending. In Long Beach I do volunteer work with several organizations.

    So, before you hang slanderous comments on someone get to know them.

    If you find evidence of fraud, regardless of who it is, I’d be happy to work with you to initiate the prosecution. (Oh, by the way, in a previous job I initiated arrest for over 100 people.) Arrest complaints, when backed by fact, are beneficial to the community. Idle chatter isn’t.

  32. Ok Ed G. You sound like a pretty smart guy, as such you know that these guys have been in the game a long time and have law backgrounds. Therefore, getting what’s needed to prove fraud is gonna be pretty damn hard unless you get some moles or someone drops a flash drive full of emails in your mailbox (hello IRS). They know how to cover there tracks just like most good criminals do. So what are we supposed to do when something is most likely corrupt but the criminal has done such a good job of covering it up you can’t get the necessary evidence?

  33. What is needed is a lawyer who is, or can become, familiar with The Election Law so everyone can understand the steps necessary to run as an independent or to form a third party.
    Otherwise everyone interested is playing the game without having read the rule book.

    And Ed , how goes it with your parking interaction with the City officials?

  34. Really loving this entire thread! Thank you Anthony for throwing the possibility out there and facilitating the conversation. I am not familiar with the electoral/nomination process but love the idea of change – especially here in LB. The opportunity for new, independent (not necessarily party), forward thinkers to be in the mix could change the dynamic of this town and really move us forward on soooo many levels. Thank you all for the thought provoking comments!

  35. Absolutely correct! Ed G is a man of solid character who’s done a ton for this community. And absolutely correct, unsupported accusations are irresponsible (and a few other things). Also, and this was the motivation for my original comments, “Todd Kaminsky is a perfect example of a social media grassroots candidate. Todd isn’t supported by the LB establishment i.e. Zapson and company. He is supported by the civics, project 11561, Seabythecity, and lots of people who don’t normally pay attention”.

  36. What we’re talking about isn’t fraud. It’s “political patronage.” It’s not illegal to give an unqualified someone a politically appointed job and over pay them to do it. If it was, they couldn’t do it, but it isn’t, so it happens all the time.

    “To the victor goes the spoils.”

  37. Victor, you asked about potential solutions. I’m not familiar with election law, but I can share my experience regarding apprehension of other criminal activity.

    I was responsible for an organization that was fighting significant theft (millions of dollars) perpetrated by smart (and sometimes violent) criminals. The key was to realize that there is always one criminal who does something stupid, that you can catch, and turn that person against others.

    We invested in talented inspectors with good tools to identify that dumb criminal. We also didn’t waste the time of the arresting authorities with unsupported claims…we had irrefutable evidence of the crimes. You also need to understand the nuances of the law or forget about out-smarting the opposition.

    We only lost one case of 120 prosecutions we initiated (an organized crime leader).

    Maybe there are lessons to be learned from that experience.

  38. Of course, to ask an average citizen to “prove” fraud or shut-up, is just a political spin method to silence them. That’s what investigations are for. Except that in one party new york state, you are never going to get a Democrat attorney general to investigate anything in long beach, for obvious reasons. And you won’t see any media attention to these matters either, for obvious reasons. So you can’t “prove” anything because no one investigates it.

  39. Sam, aw..the “political spin” response. Very predictable.

    But just to show what is possible, look up “Bell City Scandal” on the Internet or read even today’s newspaper. Bell city has 35,000 residents, suburb of Los Angeles, with Democrat City Council and Democrat Governor. (Sound familiar.)

    Most of the City Council was arrested for various acts of misconduct. The initiating action was evidence provided by some people to the local paper. The paper’s investigative reporters generated further evidence that led to the arrests.

    The moral of that story is just saying fraud doesn’t accomplish anything. Pursuing it with evidence does.

    So if you or any of the other “fraud” believers want to be constructive that may be a model you want to follow. But if you don’t have a shred of evidence, or can’t get others to prove it, I think (and perhaps others do as well) that your comments are not constructive.

    If you want to do something constructive, I volunteer 2-hours a day 5 days a week to clean up the West End. Maybe you can work with me to get something positive done for this city.

    That is, of course, unless you think my offer is “political spin”.

  40. Since we are taxed to death perhaps we can cut back on City payroll and expense by eliminating the City workers who are supposed to be cleaning up the West End and replacing them with high minded , public spirited volunteers like Ed.
    If the City employees were fulfilling their duties then Eds current efforts wouldn’t be needed and he could devote his energies to true more deserving charitable endeavors.
    BTW: Ed , how is the parking situation coming along?

  41. Volunteer to pick up garbage? That’s the skills the City wants me to contribute? I pay $5K in taxes to them, and I’m going to volunteer to take jobs from union workers, who are being laid off so the money can go to political hacks as bonuses?

    For a minute there your posts made lots of sense. Now you sound like just one more nut whose drinken the CIty’s Kool-Aide.

    When you are done on the West End Ed, you can clean up my yard. I’m busy working two jobs to pay for the hacks’ corruption.

  42. Beachguy, the City has been helping. At the risk of sounding like a paid hack, I find the City to be very helpful and that a model of City & Volunteers/Civic Groups working together is powerful.

    Example, the weeding of four major areas (Nevada St park,Georgia St children’s park, two Virginia St memorials and West End Community Garden at Maryland) were accomplished by Project Challenge teenagers and a volunteer. This was followed by mulching of the areas by City employees.

    Volunteers from WENCA and WEBA painted the Oceanview planters, with support from the City.

    The teens are also weeding the 50 Beech St planters and have weeded the garden of the People’s Church and Zion Temple. We are also asking for names of elderly who we can help.

    You’ll note that some of the areas cleaned were not City owned so no one should expect the City to have done them, and there was no risk to City workers.

    As another positive example of City work that supports the volunteer efforts, give credit to the City for the clean-up of Beech St curbs.

    Cindy, no one is requiring you to do anything (with one exception: I believe homeowners are supposed to maintain the 18″ from the curb. So many owners don’t do this.).

    I do the volunteer work as a tithe to the Community. (It’s easier for me since i’m retired.) For me it’s easy: I’m happy whenever others volunteer. And I am acutely aware of any way that we would be taking work away from others. (FYI, at one time I was a former Union President of 5000 workers.)

    P.S. Beach guy. Re parking. I submitted the results of the Oregon St survey where 95% of the respondents favored “striping” as a low-cost way to improve striping. The Police Commissioner has agreed to meet with me to discuss the results and potential future actions. After that meeting I’ll post results of that discussion.

  43. Ed: Im not sure I understand why volunteers are cleaning up public areas when we have City employees who are paid to do the very same thing. Is it that the employees are overwhelmed with their duties?
    I think it’s admirable that you and others are maintaining non- City areas that tend to be let go.
    It’s heartening to see that Mr. Tangney has agreed to meet with you.

    Has he actually scheduled a meeting or is it that he has agreed to schedule one? Am I to understand it that future actions are ” potential”?
    Is that your choice of words or Commissioner Tangneys?
    May I respectfully suggest you re- read my post of months ago where I predicted a timeline for the latest residents parking initiative .
    Hopefully I’m wrong about it.
    Allison: any developments in getting the buses coordinated with the LIRR?

  44. Beachguy, it’s not unusual for community volunteers to work in concert with Cities. Look up the “Keep New York City Beautiful” web site that describes and promotes this cooperation, and is part of the “Keep America Beautiful” program. NYS Conservation has a similar program for State parks and other public areas.

    Bottom line: it’s just volunteers trying to help make the City more pleasant.

    Regarding parking: I expect a meeting in this or next week. My schedule and the Commissioner’s have not meshed recently. And, saying “potential solution” was my word choice. In an earlier meeting a got the feeling the Commissioner was in favor of several solutions, but wanted to get additional Community feedback.

    And, my schedule for success is “as soon as possible”, even though that may mean later than now.

  45. All of the litter in the streets is caused by the tourists which the City caters to and promotes, at the expense of quality of life for resident taxpayers. I never see any of my neighbors coming back off the beach and dumping their trash in the gutter next to their parked cars or into the center malls, but I see the tourists do it all the time. If they want volunteers to clean the streets, recruit the tourists who are littering them, or double the beach fees to hire more sanitation workers.

  46. It’s interesting that this thread got 50+ comments. Tells us that many folks are fed up with politics.

    But last year, a non political former IRS investigator who is a forensic accountant ran for city council. He he lost to a Socialist Party hack who is a telephone man, a part time real estate saleslady and a guy who wore a surgical mask for months after Sandy telling Newsday that Long Beach was a Superfund site.

    Do the people posting here vote?

  47. The original question that Anthony asked was whether it was possible to win an election via social media. The comments have now wandered into into a question of whether it’s appropriate or inappropriate to have volunteers do work that City employees could/should do.

    It’s probably time that we return to Anthony’s question. However, Sam’s most recent post prompted the following response.

    Sam, your statement that “all the litter in the streets is caused by tourists” seems to have the same level of statistical reliability as some of your earlier comments.

    I agree with you that too much litter comes from visitors. But your comment suggests the problem is only caused by “them”, when some of “us” are also at fault.

    When I walk around the West a End every day cleaning up I see:

    – Cigarette butts, pizza paper plates, water bottles and beer cans. Do we really think only visitors smoke, eat pizza and drink Budd?
    – Candy wrappers on the floor of the Georgia St children’s park. Do we really think only visitor kids drop wrappers?
    – Litter dropped at the bus stops. Only visitors doing this?
    – Garbage collectors and homeowners who accidently drop debris.
    – Litter strewn in “resident only parking lots” at night
    – Homeowner front yards that have junk there from before the storm.
    – Commercial establishments that don’t police their area.

    The list goes on. My point is that the litter problem has many participants. (Several City studies have shown how frequently the problem is caused by residents, including one recent study in Brooklyn.)

    But my biggest concern about litter is one that falls squarely on our backs, not others. It’s the litter that dirties our social media sites, such as unsubstianted negativity about people, a City, it’s workers and “others”. Maybe we can all help clean up that litter.

  48. Yes we have wandered off the original topic but it’s all related to the perception widely held of inefficient, bloated city government.
    I don’t think anyone would advocate that the City should create or maintain jobs as method of fighting unemployment.
    In fact , the City has had downgrades by rating agencies for quite some time now.
    One way to combat this is to cut back on payroll, health care plans, pensions and other expenses , paid for by the taxpayers, associated with the City workforce.
    I’m not advocating firing or laying off anyone but since there seem to be many public spirited people like Ed who are willing to take on the tasks that are part of the job descriptions of current City employees but which are not being performed, then why, through a process of attrition, can’t we develop a Corp of volunteers to fill these rolls upon the retirement or other departures of City employees?
    Something like the Auxillary Police or Fire Department volunteers.

  49. Cindy – Mike, as an individual, may have been nonpolitical and on paper seemed extremely qualified. but he and the entire clean slate allowed themselves to be controlled by the republican party whose spokesperson spewed the worst kind of divisive and partisan politics on their behalf. in my humble opinion, that’s a major reason they didn’t do better than they did and seems to jive with what most on this thread have been saying.

  50. Yes, they do vote Cindy. They voted for the current people running the City – but they wish they had choices even further to the political left than what they have now. That’s what this thread is about.

  51. you seem to have not really read through the thread, Sam. if you had, you’d note that folks have expressed frustrations with taxes, high government salaries, lack of planning, responsiveness and a number of other issues. in sum, people that generally identify with both traditional parties seem to be frustrated with both options on our local level and appear to be craving representatives who care more about the things common to all of us (lower taxes, low crime, greater quality of life) than one side or the other retaining power.

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