In the last pipeline I mentioned that interested parties could check out this blog later in the week for election day coverage.
Well, I'm going back on my word.
If I'm not inspired, I can't write. (But I can still write about what I'm not writing about and why I didn't write about it, if that makes any sense!)
This past election was not inspiring on many levels.
But that's just my opinion.
Even Phlash, who I'd go as far as calling Rahm's biggest fan, isn't as much for Rahm as he is for what Rahm represents: the mayor's office.
Here is Phlash lecturing me on Apathy, early in the election season, when Danny Davis was still in the running.
I guess whatever I'm trying to say, is that whoever is at the helm, ours is a city in pain.
Our neighborhood schools are undergoing what could only be described as a painful metamorphosis as good teachers are being laid off for the simple reason that there's not enough money in the budget to pay them for educating our children, whom, if you haven't heard, are the future.
Our local streets are safer than they used to be on many levels, but there is an element of danger in any city, especially a city in economic pain.
Our taxes are being used on city jobs and for extraneous services that we as citizens are not aware of, or do not have the time in which to report on due to the fact we have to have a job to do ourselves, and it has nothing to do with the neighborhood, but everything to do with providing my food and shelter, a fact I should tattoo to my forehead for inspiration lest I forget. Cause sometimes I forget.
The good news is that our elected officials and their challengers are done squabbling with each other-- or rather, I should say that the challengers to incumbent-turned-aldermen Proco Joe Moreno and Scott Waguespack, of the first and thirty-two wards, respectively, have presumably receded back into the gigs they had before the election season drove them into a campaign heavy sabbatical.
What this means for us average Joes and Jolinas, is that there will not be a run-off. Both said alderman remained confidant and kept any fistfuls of mud to themselves, enabling them to receive their lion's share of the voting public's vote-- see the percentages by which they won (props to Moreno for including this link in the 'Victory' e-newsletter he sent out yesterday)
so there will thankfully not be a 6-week Run-Off wherein the campaigners spend even more money on their marketing and advertising in hopes of winning over the majority through name recognition and PR.
But I digress!
We are thankful here at Pipeline 'HQ' that the two incumbents for the wards in our e-newsletter's "coverage area" retained their seats. As six-year residents of the first ward, we had no doubt in our mind that Ald. Proco Joe Moreno would win by a (caution: Stevie Nicks might explode onto your screen) landslide.
We are also glad that Waguespack retained his seat by earning a decent margin over the requisite 51%.
But, back to why so few of us citizens showed up at the polls.
Would it be incorrect to say that we didn't care?
Maybe we didn't see or feel the impact of WIFM?
WFIM means "What's in it for me?" and people only really muster the energy to do things when they see a benefit for themselves, no matter how much they insist otherwise.
I learned about WIFM at my cube job, but it's one of those universal lessons.
The historic election AND historic low turnout just means that most of Chicago didn't see our next Mr. Mayor as being able to do something for them. Chicago had about an 11% voter turnout, which of that Rahm received 5.5%, thus it was only a small fraction of Chicago which made Rahm "feel at home" by voting him into office. Rahm mustn't confuse being voted in with popularity.
We saw Rahm as able to do a lot for big business, for our president in Washington, for our mailboxes which he filled with slick full-color four page circulars, for our TV screens where we saw his face again and again as our news waves were dominated by a silly debate of whether or not this man is an actual resident of our city that he is trying to run.
If change comes from within, we need to strengthen our city's core.
If change comes from outside, our center may not hold.
If change comes at all, and it's for the better, I'll be surprised.
In four years, I'll want Rahm to prove me wrong.
In four years, I want Moreno and Waguespack to have done bigger and better things for the people of our neighborhood, so that more of us feel the WIFM and go to the polls to vote them back into their seats.
But that's the future, and one can only speculate.
All any of us has got is Today. And it really is the greatest day.
On this note, I scramble to my cubicle. Without knowing if anything I just wrote makes any sense at all, or if anyone is actually reading it. I just know it feels true to me, so I posted it into cyberspace. Whether or not it's true to anyone else is up for debate.
In any case, Happy Thursday.
Make it a day worth living.