Former Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill once said, “All politics are local,” and never was a truer statement uttered. People are motivated by issues closest to their heart.
Campaigns, even those for national offices, are waged by local people upon their neighbors.
And sometimes in defining how one candidate is different from the other, we forget what we all share. Now is the time to remember that everyone wants peace and prosperity and all we need to do is reconcile the route to that end.
Maybe it was President-elect Obama's extra-long coattails, but in addition to a new Democratic senator, congressional representative and governor, the Mecklenburg County Commission now has six Democrats and three Republicans. Neighborhood leaders should start a wish list, because the bond referenda all passed with impressive margins.
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The bonds will generate funds to improve four crucial areas of our city's infrastructure: streets, parks, housing and neighborhood improvements – all of which will be necessary to attract corporations that might consider locating a headquarters here.
But perhaps the most important quality a corporation will want to explore is the sense of community in Charlotte.
On Nov. 6, I attended a post-election going-away party for a couple of young Obama campaign staffers.
That day, North Carolina declared its presidential vote count and made a momentous color change on the electoral map from red to blue.
However, everyone at the gathering understood that there was still a great deal of red in that blue, rendering North Carolina a deep shade of burgundy.
The chief topic of conversation at the party was how to win the confidence of those who voted differently.
Democrats are not exactly accustomed to winning this big, so that may explain why so many are taking care to be gracious in their victory.
Accolades for John McCain's and Pat McCrory's concession speeches abounded. The room buzzed with sentiments of inclusion and bipartisanship. There wasn't even a hint of gloating.
At least half of the volunteers present had never been active in politics – some hadn't even voted in decades – but now they've discovered their inner community organizer, and there is no going back to hopelessness.
It may be autumn, but it feels like spring.