Election season is upon us so it’s time to transcribe some stereotypical partisan voices in my head.
I’m a Democrat urbanist and I care about job creation, that national debt, the role of government, and energy and the environment.
I don’t mind if jobs are created by the expansion of government agencies. I want to see more Americans working and earning wages. But I realize that not all paying jobs are appropriate. For example, I’m pretty sure that a hit-man employed by a gangster is not a good job to create. I support jobs that help people. Sometimes jobs are created for construction workers to demolish the homes of one group of people because a powerful group of people thinks it’s a good idea (see: urban renewal, 1930s – 1970s). I want to see jobs created that support and enhance local communities, not jobs that will pay for their destruction.
ROLE OF GOVERNMENT
A national debt of $14 trillion is hard to comprehend. Most of the Democrats running for office are talking about raising taxes on the wealthy. I’m more concerned about how the
government spends the money it collects. In my region of the country, I read far too many reports about “shovel ready”stimulus projects that strike me as a waste of money. If a project was designed back in the early 90s in a completely different regulatory climate, why should we hurry up and build it now? I want a candidate focused on locally-oriented initiatives that avoid discrimination towards certain members of the community.
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Like most of the people in my neighborhood, driving alone to work is the only practical option. But it bothers me that our country is heavily reliant on fossil fuels and foreign oil. I’m not expecting to see cars banned from roads, but if my neighborhood was closer to work, I’d walk and bike a lot more. Well, closer and with safer streets. Am I so radical for wanting to do my little part for the environment around me? My suburban streets look like interstates, so it’s probably too dangerous to try anything other than driving. I’d like a candidate who wasn’t so quick to promote the steady erosion and removal of natural habitats to make room for wider and wider highways in my backyard. I want my candidate to think about smarter, more efficient ways for people to move around and connect with each other.
History has shown that the major parties are excellent at disappointing passionate urbanist voters. Maybe there are more commonalities among urbanists than some might think.