(66th in a series of posts on 2 W. Market St.)
Democracy in action. Gadfly loves that phrase. And some of you did too when he used it before and at the last Council meeting.
Well, here we are again. Voting time. Final Council vote on the 2 W. Market text amendment is tomorrow.
Since the first vote two weeks ago, we have worked once more through the issues, culminating in a close analysis of each Council member’s vote.
I’ll bet you never saw anything like that before.
But what now?
Gadfly has tried to make you all feel invested in this decision about the essence of neighborhoods whether you are involved in the case or not. But were the last two weeks just an exercise? Or is there something to do now? Something meaningful.
The two-vote system is great. But as Gadfly said even before this recent analysis, changing a vote at this time is hard. Decision-makers lock in, close down, shutter up, get defensive. It’s hard to admit you are wrong. It’s hard to admit that you made a mistake. It’s even hard to admit you had second thoughts. Normal. We all do it.
Experienced beat reporters may have the best insight of anybody, and Doug of the Bethlehem Press reported that “it is likely the vote will remain the same.” Even Gadfly, who opened himself up to as many perspectives as possible, ended up pretty much where he started, though more intensely sure of his position.
Still, it ain’t over till it’s over, and you have the opportunity to shore up those on your side or persuade those on the other side. You have their positions now as your targets for shoring or subverting.
And conscientious Council members should not have stopped thinking two weeks ago. They should have been open, if they are conscientious, to new thoughts – from themselves and others. In fact, in their supporting statements for their votes tomorrow, they should tell us about their further thinking.
But especially if you are challenging the yes voters, you should have a new tack. It might take some dramatic new tack to dislodge that first vote. No time for same old, same old.
You can talk at the meeting and/or you can write. If you write, do so directly to them (addresses below) and not to the Council clerk or the Mayor’s secretary, etc.
But so far Gadfly has been talking only to partisans in the case.
Now he talks to you non-partisans.
What about putting your democracy in action? What about a sort of write-in campaign?
Wouldn’t it just be out of this world if Council members and the Mayor got a flood of verbal and/or written contact from non-partisans? You know, saying something like “I’ve been following the controversy on Gadfly, and I recognize that the decision here is of great import to neighborhoods across the city not just those on Market St., as well as saying a lot about the qualifications of our elected officials, and here’s how I think the case should be judged.”
Post #65 and the links there should enable you to review.
O, my god! Think about that!
Gadfly doesn’t know exactly how many followers blessed him by donating for his Peace Walk, but several hundred dollars was raised.
It was a gesture of involvement.
Would you make a gesture of involvement here too? Whichever “side” you are on.
Let’s break some new ground in public participation.
If Gadfly knew that only one non-partisan “wrote in,” it would warm him for the winter.
And if you wanted to share your messages on Gadfly that would be great too but not necessary.
The meeting starts at 7PM Tuesday – message as early as you can. Or come and talk.
Bryan G. Callahan firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael G. Colón email@example.com
Shawn M. Martell firstname.lastname@example.org
Olga Negrón ONEGRON@BETHLEHEM-PA.GOV
William Reynolds JReynolds@bethlehem-pa.gov
Adam R. Waldron email@example.com
Paige Van Wirt firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Donchez email@example.com