Hburg, Fall ’10, a Pocket of Political Civility

This was submitted prior to the November 2, but unfortunately was left unpublished prior!

If you’ve followed state and national politics this Fall, you’ve observed rage, bizarre accusations and even occasional violence. What a surprising contrast the Harrisonburg City Council campaigns have been! I’ve seen the 6 candidates display pragmatism, civility and willingness to respectfully disagree. This is by no means typical of local politics or of politics in Harrisonburg (where mention of the city’s ten-year-money-losing golf course can still push bitter buttons). Yet the tone this Fall has seemed remarkably sane. The nonpartisan group, Citizens for Equal Rights, deserves special appreciation for organizing Meet and Greet sessions with each of the six contenders in a private home, open to all. Informal discussions there have proved highly informative, as have the public forums. Voters can find clear differences in policy, such as how to balance taxation with needs in this city which continues to have an unusually low tax rate. We can choose our two next council members from among six very diverse sets of strengths, perspectives and leadership styles . . . but I’ve seen no ideological demagogues/immigrant-bashers/gay-bashers/screamers-toting-guns in the lot. So I think we can feel at least moderately ok about whoever wins. Hburgers, please study your choices and vote on Tuesday!

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This post was submitted by Chris Edwards.

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