"If I were running for local office..."
Dan Crall over at the Crallspace has delivered some extremely positive ideas on what he would push for if he were running for local office.
I urge everyone to come up with their own ideas on this theme. Let's see how many brilliant ideas we bloggers can come up with.
Here's a few of my own:
All politicians and city officials must have three open office hours every day in which to hear the concerns of citizens. If they want to get out of the office, they should make a point of going to small businesses and local supermarkets to meet with citizens' panels at least once a week, in different parts of their district.
No outside businesses should be able to support political candidates or ballot initiatives within the city limits with any contributions, either directly or indirectly. Outside businesses will be considered those businesses that are headquarted outside the state, publicly traded companies, and those businesses in which the owner lives outside the city and has more than 51% of his business assets outside the city.
Developers must pay for all anticipated improvements made necessary by their development, including broadband internet access, cable, phone, water, sewage, sidewalks, light poles, schools, hospitals, fire stations, police stations, infrastructural improvements like bridges and roads, etc. All public buildings and public infrastructure will be considered public property and the cost of their construction will be reimbursed to the developer over time, as they are used. If the developer is found to have used substandard materials or engaged in faulty construction practices, those payments will be forfeited by the developer.
All work conducted by city employees or contracted out by city services will be given first to union employees and all workers operating under city contracts will be allowed card-check neutrality, to make it easier for them to form unions.
All businesses that site their business within the downtown core will receive tax breaks equal to the amount of wages and benefits they pay their non-management employees (including subcontractors) above the average wage for similar work outside the city.
All businesses and residents siting within the downtown core will receive tax breaks for renewable energy improvements, and all power sold back to the public utility (via solar, wind, etc.) will be paid for at 8 times the market rate, up to a certain acceptable limit agreed upon by a citizens' energy panel.
All personal motor vehicles will be banned from the downtown core, except in emergencies. The mass transit system will be expanded to ring and criss-cross the downtown core and to triple bus service within the core. Parking lots and parking garages will be built outside the core at mass-transit hub areas, and parking fees will be set in relation to the vehicles' size.
Bike paths will be built throughout the city, connecting important neighborhood business districts, schools, and parks.
All city elections will use Instant-Runoff Voting, which will enable us to end the Primary system. In order to educate the voters about their increased choices, voter education kiosks will be set up throughout the city, with televisions, internet stations, and literature on all candidates and political parties. These kiosks will be paid for with a fee levied on all political advertising by candidates, PACs and political parties within the city.
To increase voter education, seminars and workshops on voting and civic participation will be conducted at community colleges, at city hall, at elementary and middle schools.
Categories: Politics - Local