I ran again for board of directors at the Food Co-op. In a field of seven running for five seats I came in sixth. There will probably not be such an opportunity again to make the board. I imagine the elections next year will be a much harder race. It's all very discouraging and I begin to give up hope that the food co-op will ever become more than a store where I reluctantly go to grudgingly surrender my money for slightly less corporate products because I'm unable to find anything better.
I suppose I have a few more ideas to try out in 2006 that don't involve getting elected to try to mitigate the effects of some of the more nafarious of the super-corporate products that they carry. And I suppose if I was really as motivated as I like to believe I am I would finally get round to buying a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share and such.
And then also Judy Einach ran for Mayor of Buffalo again this year. In early November her campaign team went as a group to see the ArtVoice movie that covered the campaign trail. It's a safe bet that most people who saw the movie probably voted for Judy. The movie clearly illustrated why she was far and away the best candidate. But unfortunately, not nearly enough people saw the movie. After the movie I hugged her and told her that I loved her. I got that part right at least.
I was pretty removed from the rest of the campaign team at that point. Focussing on my book and my job. The media had managed to successfully ignore us and it was fairly apparent by that point.
We had started out at the right time, years in advance. We had attracted some really inspiring talent to our team. We had gotten some really lucky breaks when Sam Hoyt and Tony Massiello dropped out of the race. Sam Hoyt's departure in particular freed up a lot of "our people" who were, until that point, divided. But we probably didn't go after the people that had been working with Sam nearly aggressively enough. We managed to get the anti-casino people, but Hoyt's other important constiuent groups largely just dropped out or reluctantly went to stand behind Byron, the mayor of ultimate apathy.
We dropped the ball during a lot of the endorsement proccess and we spent time in pursuit of a primary challenge endorsement that proved to be little more than a useless distraction and a mild publicity boost.
I can remember the precise meeting and moment where Judy reminded us Green Party folks that we could take twenty bucks down to the BOE building downtown and become a commissioner of deeds and qualify to carry petitions. I can't for the life of me figure out why I didn't do that. I could have gone out and gotten a ton of signatures like the anti-casino guy did. But I didn't. I tried to give Christina to the campaign, but that didn't work out. She was doing Buffalo a favor just agreeing to live here and couldn't really afford to fix the city on a volunteer basis.
And so we squeaked over the 2,000 signature threashhold and we easily disqualified. I, seriously, could have gotten another thousand signatures or so and I failed to do so. So as mayor Byron continues to be just another mayor Massiello in a different skin color I will have to just sit and wonder what might have been if we'd have handed in the number of petition signatures that Darnell Jackson had handed in. We would have had a whole different sphere of legal assistance flock to our aid if we'd have handed in the 4500 that Mr. Jackson handed in and so we'd have been in court with both barrels loaded for bear. Who knows, the Democratic primary could have been an entirely different matter. We caught them off guard at first, but they quickly recovered. In the end, the only message we ended up sending to the future generations is that if you cheat and if you have the most money that is how you can win and what is most important.
We gained a lot of knowledge, but I'm very affraid that this knowledge will just disappear into the ether and the next time a truly progressive candidate steps up and puts their neck on the line they will be starting over from scratch.
Running for Mayor was a lot of good memeories, but I personally could have done a lot more than I did. That period of time in Jan 2004 where my phone and internet got disconnected and I couldn't get my email or work on the website and I didn't take the time to go touch base in person and at least let them know what was up with me and they ended up replacing me... well... that was a bad sign.