Thursday, March 5, 2020


It has come to my attention that I have not as yet written my completely futile “Why you should run for your Columbia Village Board” post this year. In fact, deadlines to run may already have passed at this point. Correction: in Oakland Mills, nomination packets are due March 13th. Check with your own village for deadlines.

Why bring it up now?

Well, if you wonder why an initiative to put a “multi-generational gathering place” could be pushed forward despite having no community support, well, it’s because the same people who have been controlling CA “politics” continue do do so, election after election. Think it doesn’t matter to you? Would a wasted 20,000 dollars for a “consultant-led process” taken from the money you pay to the Columbia Association bother you?

If you took your kid to go sledding and discovered that their beloved community sledding hill is no more, would that bother you?

Things like this happen when a small pool of people continue in office unchallenged, accumulating power and sitting on the institutional knowledge that ought to be shared to empower others. It can only begin to change as new people are willing to do the work and challenge the status quo. And it is particularly rough going when one challenges “Old Columbia” for seats on the Columbia Association Board. Ugly, even.

No wonder nobody wants to do it.

It’s a much more doable risk to put yourself out there for your local Village Board, and those folks are important, too. They can make a difference by meeting the needs of the community and sincerely vetting ideas with an eye to representing fellow Village members. It’s a small/moderate time commitment and you truly learn so much about what makes your village tick.

Over all the years I have written this blog I have probably convinced exactly zero people to run for positions in Columbia governance. That isn’t from lack of trying. Perhaps I need a ticker at the top of the page: Zero People Convinced. I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it this year were it not for the handy dandy example from my own village of how concentrated power breaks down the system that we ought to be able to trust.

Run for CA Rep. Run for your Village Board. We all need what you have to offer.

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