I am Running for Columbia Council
I filed today to run for the Columbia Council. My current representative here in Kings Contrivance, Phil Marcus, has decided not to run for re-election so it is an open seat. As some of you may know Phil was the only local elected official to have his own blog. Interestingly this year I will be the fourth local blogger to announce I am running in this years
The big issue in this election is the role and direction of the Columbia Association. Yesterday I noted that one of the things at stake in this election is the quality (note I said quality not quantity, because I still think the overriding problem with the current downtown redevelopment plan is its slopiness as the post below demonstrates and not some arbitrary number of units, because ultimately the number of units will be a product of the rest of the variables in the plan and the slopiness of addressing these other variable is what is holding back addressing the number of units) of how downtown Columbia will be redeveloped. This is clearly not the only issue, but the current state of affairs with CA's willingness to accept, and sometimes chearlead, the current plan (without asking the serious questions that need to be asked before a plan is approved) is a is a symptom of the larger problem considering the redevelopment will have a major impact on CA's future and the quality of life of those would live and work in Columbia. CA has been adrift without its actions reflected its stated mission.
The Columbia Association is a non-profit public benefit organization, created to nurture the
vision and to enhance the qualify of life for people living and working here. Columbia
Yet throughout the downtown discussion and many other decisions in recent years is a lack of commitment to the Columbia vision as laid out by Jim Rouse. The vision of promoting diversity through mixed income housing and then fostering the breaking down of stereotypes by promoting positive interaction at shared community pools, tot lots, interfaith centers, and many other design features. The Columbia Association should be playing a major role in the carrying forward of the Rouse vision and thus fostering ways to bring people together and promote community. The decision not to build neighborhood pools for Columbia's newer neighborhoods is a perfect example of this drift. Pearl Atkinson-Stewart, the Columbia Council member from Owen Brown tells me this was a decision of the Board. The next Columbia Council needs to start returning the Rouse vision back to the core of CA's decisions. It is CA's stated mission and it should follow it.