I have been asked to speak at the "graduation dinner" for this year's Leadership U class. For those unfamiliar with the program, Leadership U is a four month summer program for high school sophomores focused on developing leadership skills and promoting community involvement. This is a tremendous honor and certainly not one I have taken lightly. In fact, ever since I was asked to speak (about a month and a half ago) I have been thinking about what I was going to say.
It is amazing (and somewhat embarrassing) to think of all that we are asking from the next generation. Oftentimes challenger politicians will use this line when asked why they are running for office: "I looked into my child's eyes and thought to myself 'What am I going to tell them when they asked me what I did when the world was falling to pieces?'" It is corny. It is trite. But it is true.
We lament the failures of Congress, but subconsciously presume that this financial crisis will be fixed by someone. Otherwise, your life savings would be in gold bullion under your bed. We wonder whether climate change is real, but are stalled by our own mortality ("That sounds very scary, but I don't plan to live to 2111"). Even worse, the very platforms of growth that previous generations have relied on (quality education, starter jobs, starter homes) are no longer available in the same quantity as they were less than ten years ago.
So what are you doing about it? We have enough Chicken Little's. I am walking up to the podium tonight presuming that this group has already heard countless speeches about "hard times" and will receive countless more telling them that "they are our only hope." As much faith as I have in the next generation, that's not true...yet. Have we given up? We have a depressed electorate. "Bowling Alone" has become the new normal. Anyone who dares get angry and does something about it is mocked.
I'm excited to speak to these young leaders tonight. But after putting myself in their shoes and seeing the world from their seat, I think we all have an obligation to make that platform better. After all, we expect a lot from them.
Lindsey McPherson's Political Notebook looks into the two Council-members who have yet to serve as Council Chair -- Jen Terrasa and Greg Fox. Due to party minority, it seems obvious why Greg has not served as Chair, but not so much Jen. The Council has made this narrative for itself and I think Jen Terrasa's supporters have reason to ask "what's up with that?"
The search for the next Superintendent of Howard County schools has incorporated a great deal of public input to create a "job description" of sorts for the next set of candidates.
Former Governor Ehrlich's campaign manager was found guilty on four counts of election fraud yesterday. This is a pretty big deal, but I'm not willing to put it on level with the slew of corruption cases that have flown through Maryland dockets without conviction. The Sun seems to be portraying this admittedly horrible and misguided campaign crime as equal to those cases against lawmakers like Currie, Dixon, and Johnson, who were accused of using their office to create private gain. They're not.
Featured Blog Post of the Day: Sarah promotes the Columbia Association's new efforts to look into the feasibility of a bike sharing project in Columbia. Her concerns regarding density/infrastructure are shared by those of us interested in pursuing this avenue, but the idea is to create a pilot program, partnering with a local hotel and some other commercial properties, to take advantage of the path system in Columbia (the most under-utilized CA amenity in town). Remember that ad showing a guy walking to work...well, that was the idea...except with a bike.
That's all for today. Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!