Asheville's Progressive Hope

"All politics is local" observed Tip O'Neill, a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.



Gordon Smith, from the gorgeous Western North Carolina city of Asheville, has taken the lessons of Tip O'Neill and has crafted a modern local campaign that is bold, inspiring, fun and accessible like none other I have ever seen. He is using social media, personal outreach and good old fashioned door to door politicking combined with energetic public events to reach thousands of people with his very progressive ideas.

Please follow me below the fold to learn more. Local politics. It all starts here.

Cross posted on Kos

John Blossom observed back in 2008 in his excellent piece on local politics and its changing dynamic, that citizens are making a profound difference on the political landscape through blogging, social media and interactive awareness never seen before. He uses Tip O'Neill as an early example before the modern tools we now enjoy arrived.

"All politics is local" observed Tip O'Neill, a former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. O'Neill was a Congressman from Cambridge, Massachusetts who learned this maxim of politics when he lost his first political campaign - a race for a seat on his local city council - by only 150 votes. When O'Neill asked some of the people in his neighborhood why they hadn't voted for him, they told him "You didn't ask for my vote." Tip O'Neill never forgot this lesson and went on to a very successful career in politics in which he was known for his ability to lead and influence the most unlikely combinations of political allies to get their votes - and to get business done. The art of politics is indeed all local, based on building bonds of trust and delivering on personal promises to people who have entrusted someone with their personal political endorsement.

Gordon started this campaign back in the spring before announcing his intentions. He laid the groundwork by quietly building an organization of dedicated progressives while pouring himself into researching the issues that mattered most to Asheville voters. He had quite the head start on that front as Asheville's premiere local political blogger. His blog turned five years old this year and it has covered every aspect of the local political scene. He is also one of the earliest Kossacks.

Breaking into politics, finally, was an obvious direction Gordon needed to take. And one that Asheville needed him to take.

Gordon wins primary

The arrival of a new era in Asheville politics was clearly demonstrated by the victories attained by Cecil Bothwell and Gordon Smith in the city council primary on October 6. These wins were built on hard and smart work by both candidates, sizeable teams of deeply committed volunteers and the grassroots organizing skills many of them gained working in President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

Here's why

As I write this, Gordon Smith has just earned his place on the November ballot for Asheville City Council. It is a tribute to the planning and long hours Gordon and the team he built devoted to this effort. But more, to the years Gordon has already devoted to building a better Asheville. Gordon Smith has proven himself a force for a smarter, more citizen-centered approach to city government. Of course, Gordon Smith is approachable, responsive, and a good listener – he’s a child and family therapist. As operator of a small business and as an engaged citizen, he has become a focal point for people interested in a building a sustainable, prosperous future for Asheville. He will be an excellent community representative on Asheville City Council.

Below are some links to the issues Gordon believes are essential to building a sustainable, progressive community here in the heart of Blue Ridge mountains. Asheville is a unique oasis of art, culture and beauty and Gordon Smith could use a little extra help to push him over the top and into the City Council where he can provide positive, progressive leadership and a strong voice for change and a sustainable future.

Affordable Housing
Economic Sustainability
Environmental Sustainability
Community Sustainability
Transparency
A balanced budget

Thanks for your time and please consider throwing a few bucks toward a progressive local voice.
And please come visit! The leaves are turning, the air is crisp and Asheville is alive with energy, beauty and progressive politics.