Friday, April 23, 2021

At What Cost?


A few last-minute comments about the CA elections, which are tomorrow. First of all, if you are still able to vote in your village and haven’t yet, please vote! Different villages have different ways of voting so please check to see. By far the most exciting Columbia Village for voting is Long Reach, which allows residents to pick from in-person, by mail, or electronically. 

You probably know that it pains me to say that anyone is better than Oakland Mills, but, Long Reach has bested us on this. On the other hand, we have the best plant sale. Small consolation, but, it’s something.

There have been some stories swirling about on social media this week that suggest all has been revealed about where the Rouse Project money comes from. Sadly, without verifiable proof that’s all they are: just stories. And that’s too bad. By refusing to operate with transparency the Rouse Project has managed to make this year’s CA election more about themselves than the candidates. 

Was that really what they meant to do? I have no idea. But they’ve put their own candidates at a great disadvantage.

About the candidates. I have been religiously avoiding any comment about them because my concern has been with RP, but I want to say something about people dishing dirt about the challenger in Oakland Mills.   Rashida George and I have something in common: being a challenger in Oakland Mills, that is. I remember being the butt of weird insults and rumors while I was running:

  • She wants to get rid of old people
  • She’s a music teacher so she’s not qualified 
  • She’s against putting a dome on Merriweather (???)
  • “That Kevin Ulman supports her and we hate him”

I honestly thought it couldn’t get any worse but this week I saw people running legal/financial background searches on Ms. George and dragging her on social media and I realized that I had it easy. Who would do that, and use fake accounts to make it public? Well, probably someone who looks at a Black candidate and makes the assumption that they must have a criminal record or at least some kind of financial “irregularities”. 

That, my friends, is racist. It didn’t happen to me when I was running because I’m white. Different assumptions are made.  And that’s just vile. I suspect the people doing this are not from Oakland Mills, but I don’t have verifiable proof of that. It just doesn’t “feel” Oakland Mills to me. 

I was going through some old posts of mine and I found this from a post about partisan politics in the BOE race:

What I found the most troubling was the aim to control outcomes in races where members of this group do not reside. My friends who eat politics for breakfast will find me naive. I hadn’t anticipated this and I guess I should have. This is clearly strategic thinking: make a plan, work your plan, achieve desired domination. Control Board votes, control future policy.

Hmm...seems strangely relevant right now.

I think that the Rouse Project has destroyed any chance they might have had to be an ongoing positive force in Columbia, no matter how these elections turn out. Those individual members who have always been good people will continue to be so, and I am grateful for that. But RP as an entity did itself in through sheer lack of transparency (and a little arrogance thrown in.)

To those who say, “it’s the most I’ve heard about these elections in years!” I’d like to say, “At what cost?”

It’s all about the cost, isn’t it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.