Note: In April of 2011 I wrote a blog post about why I was voting for Ed Shadid for Ward 2 city councilor in Oklahoma City. Despite a mean-spirited and well-funded opposition campaign, something just short of a miracle occurred and Ed won!
Since that time, Ed has repeatedly demonstrated his value as a dedicated public servant (an increasingly endangered species). He’s fulfilled his duties and his promises to the people of Ward 2 faithfully, with intelligence and determination, even when he was under fire and castigated for doing so by the powers that be.
This is not to say I’ve always agreed with Ed’s positions or approaches on certain issues (I didn’t expect to). Yet, Ed continues to impress me with his vision, leadership, inclusiveness, thoroughness, willingness to ask difficult questions, and with his intelligent approach to problem-solving and more. Here’s what I’ve observed over the past there years:
- Ed listens to all of his constituents, regardless of station, status, wealth or power, and he steps up to the plate for us and works diligently on our behalf. He takes the initiative to organize town halls and public forums on relevant and urgent topics to help citizens become more educated and engaged. When was the last time any person holding public office did that in Oklahoma City? Is there any precedence for this in the history of our city?
- Ed doesn’t back down, even in the face of some of the nastiest, most underhanded campaigning imaginable. (Here’s looking at you Daily Oklahoman, OKC Chamber of Commerce, and the Medici-type families that control this town – shame on you!). When I found out Ed, like so many of us, struggled with addiction and other personal issues, it gave me even more reason to vote for him because now I know, beyond any doubt, that he’s been in the trenches with the rest of us. He gets the challenges so many of us face.
- The depth of the meanness and often rude behavior toward Ed is an accurate reflection of just how much the well-heeled power structure of OKC hates -- and unfortunately I mean hates - having anyone question them. They are so comfortable in their arrogance, so accustomed to getting their way and having mayors rubber stamp their wishes that when Ed says “Wait a minute,” you can almost see their eyes twirl around and steam whistle out of their ears. All the more reason to vote for him!
- If the issues facing us weren’t so serious, their reactions would be laughable. All that eye rolling and anger and mean-spiritedness because Ed dares to question them, dares to shine a light into the dark recesses of their often questionable practices and grubby, greedy, self-aggrandizing schemes for further lining their own pockets at the expense of we the people and the quality of life in this city.
- For all of the above and many other reasons too numerous to list here, I’m proudly voting for Ed again. And in honor of Ed, I’ve included updated excerpts from my post three years ago below because now more than ever the people of OKC need to know we have a terrific choice for mayor – join me in voting for Dr. Ed Shadid.
I'm voting for Ed Shadid to become Oklahoma City’s major because when I first met him, he firmly shook my hand, took the time to look me in the eye and said, "Please, just call me Ed, just like you would any of your friends." He had me with "please" on that one!
As we talked, he was in no hurry to move to the next person waiting to speak with him. He was cordial, he patiently listened and responded to what I said (rather than using campaign talking points or speaking in vague generalities), and I watched him take that kind of time, pay that kind of personal attention, to each person he spoke with.
I'm voting for Ed, because he pledged to bring openness, accountability and transparency to the MAPS projects and to push for all the projects the people voted for (not just for those the Chamber of Commerce wants), and he’s done just that! Ed believes in innovation and has thoughtful ideas for continuing the momentum in OKC in a way that benefits all of us.
I'm voting for Ed because he's an advocate for healthy, sustainable and resilient communities, for a strong local economy grounded in encouraging and supporting lots of local entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized businesses, and keeping more of our money here, in our community, where it can circulate and provide more and better paying jobs.
I'm voting for Ed because he pledged to be an advocate for neighborhoods, for health, for senior citizens, for school kids, and to be accessible and he’s fulfilled every one of those pledges. I see him out and about in our neighborhoods, listening to the needs of the citizens, making the rounds at all kinds of events, talking one-on-one to everyday people versus hobnobbing at high-dollar fundraisers.
I'm voting for Ed because while I appreciate some of the more useful projects that the Chamber of Commerce, Chesapeake, Devon and Sandridge support in our community and am supportive of them in many ways, I don't feel that that gives them the right to run our city and call the shots behind closed doors. We need a champion for openness and transparency and a major who will openly question the maneuvering of these power players in a civil, logical and fact-based manner. From what I've seen and heard from Ed, he's has the fortitude, courage and wisdom to do just that.
I'm voting for Ed because our democracy was founded on "we the people." That's not "we the people with a lot of money and power," but "we the people" with no regard for how much money any of us have." We the people" is working families just barely scraping by. It's the just-out-of-college young adults who can't find decent jobs, and lonely seniors who can no longer drive and have no safe place to walk or a grocery store to walk to. It's moms and dads working multiple minimum-wage jobs just to make ends meet. It's people living in neighborhoods with bars on their windows and doors where it takes 45 minutes or more for the police to respond to an incident.
“We the people” is kids who go to schools without working kitchens, where the lunch menu is high-fat, high-sodium, processed foods; kids who -- unless we change the school food system -- are far more likely to become the first generation to die at a younger age than their parents. It's the poor, the tired, the huddled masses yearning to get a decent, well-rounded education, make a living wage, take care of themselves and their families, be happy. “We the people” is me, you, us.
I'm voting for Ed because for the second time in three years someone tore down my wall of cynicism and dared me to believe that not only will my voice be heard, but that it matters. That someone is Ed Shadid.
You matter! Your vote matters Please consider voting for Ed Shadid for Mayor of Oklahoma City on Tuesday, March 4th.