Amblin' Alameda: Election season

Amblin' Alameda: Election season

Morton Chalfy

These are the times that try people's patience - the times when our officials and wannabe officials demand that we pay attention to those who run our affairs, and try to make intelligent choices at the ballot box. Personally, I despair of being able to predict the future or even to discern the relative abilities of the candidates. It's clear that our civic duty requires an earnest effort to participate intelligently, but really.

The statewide proposition proponents and opponents do their best to obfuscate the real facts supporting and negating any said measure and the source of money behind the ads for and against it. But Alameda ... at least here the local races are being run by accessible human beings who are respectful of one another and of the system that governs us. Disagreements are kept within policy issues - at least, in public - and if you're a voter without strong feelings on local issues you can meet and greet the candidates and decide on whose handshake was firmer or who looked you in the eye more directly.

Here in Alameda, we get to rub shoulders with our mayor and council people on a daily basis. If we have a deeper interest than the usual citizen we can attend council meetings and contribute our two cents, attend school board meetings and offer our thoughts, and walk into any office in the city and speak with the relevant functionary. If our involvement level is less deep, we can follow the election coverage on The Alamedan. In any case, our local politics are just that - local - so we can get up close and personal with elected officialdom.

We can also, if we wish, avoid learning anything about the city or the people who run it, get our misinformation from our friends and the local e-trees, vote for slender or no real reasons but on the basis of looks, or speech pattern or other biases and miraculously it all still works. Even when we elect less than stellar candidates our city continues to hum along pretty smoothly, and that's because of the quality of our residents.

In Alameda the attitudes of civility, helpfulness and care for others are deeply embedded in the social structure and show in the many civic societies which leap into action whenever a need manifests itself. The fire that burned out several businesses on Park Street is a case in point. Among other events to help the victims there will be a pancake breakfast next Sunday at the Elks Hall, with the proceeds going to aid our neighbors who lost much if not all to the flames.

I'd like to be prescient enough to know who would be our best representative for the next few years but I'm glad I live in a town where the strong humanity of the citizenry supersedes our leadership.


Submitted by Maria of Alameda (not verified) on Tue, Oct 14, 2014

Thank you, Mr. Chalfy! Your thoughts are always inspiring. Thank you.