Once, historic preservationists simply refused to get themselves involved politically in the City. They literally hid inside a cave of the mind pretending that political affairs were not important to preserve our historic architecture. They loved the coolness of the subterranean existence where they could congratulate each other on how fervent they were for the ‘cause’.
The utter silence in a cave can be deafening. Former historic preservationists felt comfortable in that silence as they hid from the messiness of local politics – but now they are out in the sunlight. They have grown and matured and are ready to engage on a political level in our community. But, blinking from the brightness, they are not exactly sure how to proceed.
We have a lot of problems in our city – they are not the problems of other communities which have such things as addiction, poverty, violent crimes, overcrowding and crumbling infrastructure; ours are much more complex and have to do with enhancing and preserving our success.
We have a minority of city councilors who do not appreciate historic preservation and how it transformed our city and in fact – have a vision for our community that is counter productive to a prosperous future.
If we are to strengthen our cause, we can’t just be ‘against’ dark siders or ‘against’ uncaring politicians; we must work hard to replace them with good elected representatives.
That means we need to start seeking candidates NOW to run next year.
First, we must find potential citizens who are willing to sacrifice their precious time in service to the citizens.
Second, and this is just as important as the first step; we need to vet those candidates – make sure their positives far outnumber their negatives.
Third, we need to identify the issues that are present in the city and to find concrete goals for them to accomplish once in office.
All of these pursuits are fraught with difficulties and unexpected twists but well worth it for the entire preservationist community to involve themselves in to protect our city.
In the next post, I will outline some of the proposed goals that historic preservationists need to put on their political list.