I often get called out for being "too political" in person and also within the comments left both here on Bike Jax and via Facebook. Too political? Not hardly. If I'm anything, I'm too opinionated and I know I tend to voice my personal opinion here and on Facebook a little more than I should. But I'm not apologizing for it and I'll certainly do it again. It's who I am. I'm also sorry to inform those of you that think I'm "too political" bicycle advocacy is a highly political process. It is after all the local, state and federal legislators who create the laws and regulations that govern every aspect of cycling from design and installation of infrastructure along with who can ride to how and where we are allowed to ride our bikes.
Tomorrow May 17th is the runoff election for citywide offices and The Times-Union ran an article a couple days ago asking, "What if" we had not elected the mayors we had. I sat for awhile and pondered that very question. What if we had elected leaders that instead of focusing their attention on bring the NFL here, instead focused on making Jacksonville a more livable and sustainable city. What if they had concentrated their energies on controlling runaway sprawl with infill multi-level mixed use development that would promote walking, biking, and mass-transit in the way of buses, streetcars and commuter rail? What if they had worked to keep the true indicator of a city's heath and wealth (Downtown) lively, livable and viable? What if they had shown the head in the sand suburbanites how much their property value would increase with working transportation options? What would our economy be like today if 40% of Jacksonville's populous were pumping the extra $8000 a year they would have by only owning one car instead of two back into the local economy thanks to dependable and easily accessible mass-transit?
What if those elected had accomplished the things mentioned above and corporations and people moved here because they saw how much Jacksonville had to offer because of its forward thinking leaders? Just maybe the NFL would have been knocking on our door instead of us spending 30 years performing oral satisfaction in backroom deals to NFL movers and shakers.
We could have a progressive man with the kind of focus and vision that will move Jacksonville forward as our mayor as soon as tomorrow... Or we could keep on keeping on with the regressive same old tried and true "I won't raise taxes...Until I do", "I do everything my pastor tells me to do", "we don't need libraries, arts or school activities" teabag backed douche we have elected over and over.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I am sick and tired of every conversational bitch session concerning Jacksonville ending with, "but it's getting better." Bullshit! Where and how is it getting better? All I see are the empty lots where the historic buildings used to be. All I see is JTA keeping all their focus on building roads instead of building a strong transportation system. All I see is a fucking tax bill for rain.
Get out tomorrow and make a difference. Vote for Alvin Brown and let's move Jacksonville forward for a change.