Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Left in Lowell Kicks the Door, Not Just Open...

But Off the Hinges

My blog sister Lynne over at Left in Lowell has an amazing post on the dangers of the "Good Old Boy" network at work in Lowell. Seems the Lowell City Council is about to fire replace their City Manager John Cox, who, if you are a regular reader of Left in Lowell, gets raked over the blog-coals on a fairly regular basis. Cox's replacement? Seems State Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos is the odds-on favorite. And that's the part Lynne drills down on:

GOB networks supplant and replace democratic and open governments. They discuss important issues in closed offices with their friends. They decide that a bridge realignment is the right choice out of four different proposed plans, though no such debate has been had in the public arena. If democracy is why I am here, writing, then I - and you, the readers - need to fight the GOB every time you see it.

Hell yes, we do.

Listen, I've sat in on meetings in stunned silence, fists balled, but quiet while some so-called "loyal Democrats" bitch that bloggers are not "real Democrats" because we are critial of the sacred cows of the state party. I don't even think it's just bloggers, it's anyone who dares to speak up when they see the kind of blantant cronyism that Lynne is speaking out against in Lowell.

Democrats constantly complain about the cronyism that goes on in the Bush Adminstration. Why are some Democrats so reluctant to turn that spotlight on ourselves? Cronyism kills. It can kill people, like what happened during and after Hurricane Katrina, or it can slowly kill our democracy by allowing those in power to further concentrate that power by excluding participation by citizens who are after a free, fair and open process.

Lynne has a few words for her critics too:

Oh, and before anyone complains about how I wasn’t born here in Lowell, I haven’t lived here long, so I have no right to criticize, you asked me to move here. Isn’t the whole Look At Lowell Now marketing campaign aimed at enticing young educated professionals looking for a fun place to live that isn’t overpriced-Boston? Now that we’re here, you can’t complain that we want to speak, to get involved, to evoke change. You either want our money and our contribution and our artistic sensibilities or you don’t. And you can’t live without us. We’re the new lifeblood of the city, and we’re here to make a difference. Now, let’s get to work!

Yes, let's all get to work.