Okay, Columbia, we need to talk. Today is Election Day in Columbia's Villages and if past elections are any indication, you're not going to vote. In her Baltimore Sun article about the elections, Amanda Yeager noted:
In a March letter to the community, Columbia Association President Milton Matthews emphasized the importance of Columbia's elections.
"Even before Columbia was officially founded, James Rouse did a lot of community outreach," Matthews wrote. "To this day, resident participation remains a cornerstone of Columbia."
On the other hand, blogger Candace Montague (From the Scratchpad of an Urban Bushwoman) has lived in Columbia ten years and has never voted. Why? In yesterday's post she lays out her reasons.
1. I like things the way they are.
2. The Board isn't me.
3. Village rules and regulations don't interfere with my pursuit of happiness.
Columbia in theory is the People Tree. Columbia in practice is people going about their own lives, glancing at the pretty People Tree sculpture, and walking on by.
Mr. Matthews and Ms. Montague need to get together. They need to have a conversation about what makes Columbia important and yet why today so many residents find that to be completely irrelevant. I'm not talking about a cute photo opp, nor am I proposing a serious ongoing task force. I'm saying go to Clyde's, have a beer or something. Lay it all on the table. We're only going to make headway on this if we get differing points of view together.
In the meantime, Columbia, I am not letting you off the hook. Get out there and vote. Today. Push those local statistics up a little bit with your own participation.