11 April 2007

Don't Vote For Carol Campbell

I have refrained from making any public endorsements in the Denver election so far. But, I will make one. Don't vote for Carol Campbell for the at large city council seat. A post at Renegade Crafters describes some concerns, and my review of what was said by and about her in Life on Capitol Hill neighborhood newspaper reaffirmed my concerns about her.

Her excessive concern about density, her determination that stopping "cruising" is a priority, her desire to set up a modern day leper colony for sex offenders in Denver, and her obsession generally with petty disorder are deeply at odds with my own views about Denver's future where the city is basically heading in the right direction, is diverse, and is tolerant.

The gut feeling I get when I read her stuff is to be afraid of where she might take the city. She is a fan of "zero tolerance" when it comes to graffiti (a mindset that almost always produces absurd results at some point). She thinks that we need to ship undocumented immigrants in her immigrant filled West side neighborhood back home. While she says it kindly, her bottom line is that "I would like to see the millions of illegal immigrants in our country . . . go home." She believes that "government and education, outside of foreign language classes, should be conducted in English." She bemoans the fact that the "new neighbors don’t look like the typical nuclear family unit- mom, dad, and a of couple kids."

While her take on the world is thickly veiled, I can't help but to think that she had a lot of underlying agreement with Tom Tancredo, less his acute affliction with foot in mouth disease.

This isn't to say that she doesn't have some individually worthwhile ideas. She is respectable, scrupulously careful not to expressly play the race card, and does look for constructive approaches rather than simply running off at the mouth, like most candidates concerned about immigration. But, you don't have to be on city council to present good ideas. What matters is her worldview and priorities. She is on a mission to tame and neuter the city, and Denver's problem is not that it is too wild. Both of the two incumbents in the two city council at large posts voters will consider in this election have done a decent job as part of the overall team in city hall and deserve to be returned to their posts.


Richard said...

Thank you for your interest in Carol Campbell's campaign.

I have known Carol Campbell for over 15 years as we were founding members of the Athmar Park Neighborhood Association. Carol has worked tirelessly over that time to improve the quality of life for ALL Athmar Park residents. As a response to a growing graffiti problem in 1992, Carol founded the "Graffiti Busters", a group of volunteers who would give up their Saturdays to paint over vandalism in our area. This led to the anti-graffiti ordinance in 1998 that greatly curtailed vandalism in our area for several years until the city administration made graffiti vandalism a low priority. She obtained two grants from Neighborhood Cultures of Denver; one to present a stage production at Rishel Middle School to present the history of the neighborhood as told to young people by older residents and the other to construct mosaic tables at Huston Lake and Aspgren Parks. When Valverde Elementary, a largely Latino/Hispanic school, celebrated its 75th anniversary Carol organized a book drive to replenish the library. For the past 9 years she has worked with at-risk youth through Art Reach.

Carol has an impressive record of community building. When she identifies a problem, she works on a resolution of that problem with a spirit of “DO” rather than a spirit of “TALK.”

Carol believes in law and order and that all laws from federal laws such as immigration to local ordinances such as zoning should be respected. Anything less leads to an arbitrary enforcement of our laws which would be contrary to the principles to which our country was founded. We must remain a nation of law.

Thank you for your time,

Rick Taylor

TakeBackTheHouse said...

"Anything less leads to an arbitrary enforcement of our laws which would be contrary to the principles to which our country was founded. We must remain a nation of law."

You realize the founders of this country were blatantly guilty of treason, right?

From Jefferson to Rosa Parks to today, we have been a nation engaged in a struggle for liberty, freedom, and justice.
The respect for the law is an extension of the respect for justice, but when the law is unjust it is neither patriotic nor right to merely bow to it.
Slavery was legal and wrong. Segregation was legal and wrong. The exploitation of children in coal mines and sweat shops was legal and wrong.

What bothers me most are the national leaders in our country who cry out for the 'rule of law' but feel that equality under the law does not apply to their offices.

What I try to remember is that equality, not law, is the key word in the phrase 'equality under the law'.
Ours is not a country founded by the rule of law, but by the rule of the people. It is a country concieved in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

A nation of laws is a good thing where it stands as the gaurd against tyranny. A nation of people is a better thing when it stands against tyranny, even in the law.

Richard said...

In a democracy people enjoy the equal protection of the law. In a tyranny people suffer from the arbitrary enforcement of law with justice dispensed by people who never heard of Thomas Jefferson or Rosa Parks. In the United States we have the rule of law and we have the right to participate in our democracy and to petition our government to change those laws we find unjust. Please consider putting "The Federalist Papers" on your reading list.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Oh-Willeke's relaxed position on the list of problems that he be reeled out shows that:
A: he is not impacted by these problems
B: he has not studied these problems

The old saying that goes: "you don't understand a problem intil you try to change it" is appropriate here.

Andrew Oh-Willeke is willing to take a relaxed position on, say, the "high density" issue.
This issue obviously does not effect him, therefore it is easy to ignore it.

Before Mr. Oh-Willeke airs his ideas, he should become educated on the issues.
These issues are not sexy, but they are serious quality of life issues for the resident who, say, lives next door to
a 1000 square foot house with 14 people living in it. These are real problems for real Denver home owners, but not
for Mr. Oh-Willeke.

The reason I back Carol Campbell is that she has done her homework, and is ready to roll her sleeves up and
get to work on these issues, that are ignored by the two incumbant at-large council members.

This fact doesn't matter to Andrew Oh-Willeke, but it matters to me, and anyone that is impacted by these problems.

I challenge Andrew Oh-Willeke to educate himself on any one of these issues, and see if you don't find that your
newfound opinions exactly match Ms. Campbell's. If Andrew Oh-Willeke finds that he has better ideas, he should share them
with his preferred council members, who seem to be silent on these issues.
m costello

BigSprinter said...

I applaud Ms. Campbell for speaking out on so many issues that given the highly politicized environment in which we currently live, most would refrain from taking a position on.

I continuously find it shocking that so many people have trouble understanding why "disorder" and "quality of life" issues are so intimately linked with the issues urban Denver faces.

Regardless of race, economic status, or politics, every citizen has a right to a peaceful, unthreatened existence.

Graffiti, public urination, drunkenness and drug use, prostitution, gangs, etc., etc., etc., all adversely affect the quality of life in urban Denver.

So many try to paint this as a racial or socioeconomic issue, but it's not--It's about obeying the law and not hindering others quality of life.

To say we should look the other way and not enforce disorder and quality of life issues in inner-city neighborhoods, in my opinion, is racist and classist, because to rationalize such a position requires a basic assumption--That for some reason inner city residents--largely low-income and people of color--don't deserve a safe, clean, non-threatening environment in which to live.

But how could I expect someone living in idyllic Wash Park to understand this? Let's bus a few of our chronic neighborhood offenders over to the Wash Park neighborhood and see how long it takes for you to change your tune.