Life is full of disappointments. This spring I was seriously disappointed that the local Democratic Party did not have an opponent for Republican Mayor Bob Walkup. Tucson has a city manager form of government; consequently, mayor is a symbolic, ceremonial position. Ok, so Walkup really doesn't have much power, BUT Tucson is a city of Democrats and other independent-minded folks. Why do we have a Republican mayor who used to be a big-wig at Hughes Aircraft Company (now Raytheon)?
Personally, I believe that Walkup has survived as mayor because he knows the Dinosaur/Cockroach Theory of Survival. The dinosaurs stood tall and walked slowly through the forests. Cockroaches, on the other hand, lurk in the darkness and keep a low profile. When the lights are turned on, they scurry under back into their hiding places. The dinosaur's high-profile made them vulnerable to attack by preditors and eventually became extinct. Cockroaches have learned how to avoid preditors, adapt to their suroundings, and survive. They are still with us and stronger than ever. (I learned this survival theory toward the end of my long tenure as a State of Arizona employee. I was a dinosaur, though, and was laid off in 2004. That's a story for another time.)
So, since I am obviously unimpressed with BW, I am dismayed that he has no Democratic opponent. Enter the Green Party. Last night I went to a meeting of the Sonora Progressives and met Green Party Mayoral Candidate Dave Croteau. Normally, even though I agree with Green Party policies, I would not vote for the Green Party because I see them as a fringe group that can't win.
With no Democratic candidate, the Walkup-Croteau race is different story altogether. Here we have a lukewarm, unexciting, do-nothing Republican incumbent running against an unknown Green, who holds values that are closer to those of the Tucson citizenry. Here's a link to the Green Party's Ten Key Values, which include grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, non-violence, decentralization, economic justice, gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and sustainability. Croteau is a candidate who is knows that sustainability is an issue!!!! He also understands the concept of basing economic development on growing local businesses and working with our city's strengths, rather than spending millions to compete with other cities for the major corporations looking for cheap labor and tax breaks.
Walkup didn't beat Tom Volgy, his last opponent, by much of a margin. Here's an interesting blog post about Walkup's honensty (or lack of it); it also includes some information about the Walkup-Volgy and Walkup-McKasson races. If enough of us liberal thinkers organize, work for, and vote for Croteau, I think he has a chance.
Croteau is currently trying to raise donations from Tucson residents so he can get matching funds. He needs matching funds to be a viable candidate, since he doesn't have the corproate sponsors that Walkup undoubtably has. I urge you to go to the link above, print out the donation form, and send Croteau $10 - $390, so he can run a decent race against Walkup. Let's go Green, Tucson!