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Edit  DeleteExpires Dec 31, 2015

November 14, 2104

First of all, I want to acknowledge both Bruce and Leonie for running as smart, honest, and caring candidates. Furthermore, I want to express how much I respect all of us who enthusiastically supported and contributed to their noble campaigns.

To my mind it is now of great importance to agree that the lessons of this election couldn't be clearer, no matter how we might try to spin it otherwise, for example:

1.    Sweeping the election with nearly 60% of the vote last Tuesday, the busine$$-as-usual conservative city council majority (http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/Opinion/ci_26704232/Editorial-Oct-12-2014:-Chase-Noroyan-and-Terrazas-for-Santa-Cruz-City-Council) remains firmly in charge.

This trend would seem to raise serious questions about the state of progressivism, especially concerning the environment, sustainable growth, UCSC expansion, and social and economic vitality/equity.  Moreover, the willingness of the status quo brokers to pour unlimited money into holding power and to employ effective smear/red baiting attacks coupled with extensive vandalism of campaign signs is extremely sobering as to what is at stake.  

2.    The striking inability among progressives and coalition participants to advance a unified strategy for winning at least third place is very troubling on multiple levels as demonstrated by our fragmentation of message, focus, time, energy, endorsements, and financial resources.

3.    Our failure to foster a highly-visible, engaging, and distinguishing debate on the most critical issues such as water policy, wasteful spending and the entering of the city into the default zone, neighborhood preservation, UCSC expansion, transparency, campaign finance limits, etc.

4.    The resounding victory of the status quo slate further strengthens the mandate of the entrenched pro-development democrats aligned with a Chamber of Commerce agenda bent on rampant growth, environmental disregard, UCSC expansion, building a "desal or die" plant, pushing a Machiavellian public safety policy aimed at cleansing the town of the poor, homeless, mentally ill (aka deviant elements), street artists/performers, and community activists (aka violent anarchists), et al.

Let us make no mistake about the considerable impact of these election results and to refrain from devoting much time and discussions into parsing voter participation data victory/loss margins, and candidate personalities.

Rather, let's start to hone a more appealing, inspiring and unified road map for winning city council seats in 2016 when Lane will term out and incumbents Posner, Mathews and Comstock will likely seek re-election.  

In order to be successful next time, we should consider fostering an authentic, broad-based, and engaging conversation to include and not limited to the following items:

§ Having courage to admit errors/shortcomings and to identify challenging conditions and opportunities.

§ Examining how progressivism can be transformed/branded to resonate and actively engage the city's fundamentally changed demographics where there is weakening sense of history and progressive struggles.

§ Identifying the something else that is going on and who our base is.

§ Design and launch a compelling 2016 grass roots ballot initiative along the lines of past mobilizing and successful propositions such as Measures I, J, O and P.

§ Identify and recruit a candidate(s) including at least one having a successful business/management background, demonstrated integrity, and strong environmental/social values. Being a homey with pretty hair a big plus!

 

Let the 2016 election countdown start with a new realism and strategic roadmap, an inspiring message and invigorating organizing.

 

Warmly,  -- Paul Gratz

 

Nancy Abbey2015-07-01T21:11:02Z
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