Notes from the Front Row™
Local Musings –Election Special
Don’t even think about not voting in the upcoming November election. For those that don’t participate and feel their vote doesn’t matter I am here to tell you you’re wrong, elections do matter and at the local level we have lots of choices. Some old candidates, some new candidates and others in between. I am not here to give my picks or recommend who you should vote for because that’s an important discussion you should have with yourself.
But I am here to give you my view of where I think we are as a community stand and that might help give you’re a framework for your important vote. I have been a student of the Lake Tahoe economy and political and social policy for 20 years and I believe we are at a unique moment in time. For the past 40 years we were protected from change, we had the TRPA which ensured there would be no real change in our community while at the same time the gaming industry was the largest employer providing employment and a generally good income for 10,000 people. It was our little spot in the world. We were naive in thinking that the changes felt in every other community would not come knocking at our door.
In many ways this community is stuck in a black hole where it can’t decide which is greater the fear of change or the unknown opportunity for success. “Some people fear what comes next others are excited by it” is a line by Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and it could not be more appropriate. We can look forward and make a better future or we can fear what comes next and have more of the same.
But we are at a fork in the road; we can continue to act and think we are still protected from the winds of change but the truth is and we all know it we are not. We can hark back to those days of nostalgia when everything was better or we can be a part of the change we would like to see. Either way change is here. It is my opinion that we need to embrace the change that is before new infrastructure, new regional plan, new ideas, new vision for the future and we should not fear it because I believe the status quo will not increase our revenues, it will not create the jobs we need it will not strengthen our community or protect the environment. In fact it will only reduce what we have. That is the stark choice before us.
Why is this important to your voting this November? Let me give you a little secret when it comes to political campaigns. When it comes to election there are only two campaign messages. The first is “stay the course” the second is “time for change” that’s it the sum total of all political campaigns.
We have a chance to be a community that embraces changes and continually looks forward to improve for everyone or we can simply be what we have been. Ask yourself which candidates will bring about the change we need, which candidates will lean forward into the future or backward to the past.
It’s the same when you consider voting on measure F the community college, you can vote for the status-quo or you can vote for change. When you go to the polls this November don’t fear what comes next be excited. I am.
It’s October and the World Series is on us. The playoffs have been incredibly exciting don’t miss it. Need I say more?
Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org