September 10, 2007

And we're back

Sorry for going missing folks, you never know what's going to happen in the turbulent life of the intern.

I've come to the conclusion that Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is one of the best things to ever happen to this city.

Bear with me on this one, it has merit.

I've said in the past that I've doubted his experience (who hasn't), that I've been disturbed by his antics (fore!), and that I've been perplexed by his ethics (snicker). While these attributes prevent me from thinking him the best man for the job, his actions have brought more attention to city government and necessitated a attitude of watch-doggedness sorely lacking.

Everywhere I go, from Grant Street to Penn Circle to Brownsville Road, people know Luke's name and have an opinion. Perhaps the city has lost enough population that everyone's voice actually has a chance to be heard these days, but I'm thinking that there finally might be enough competition to challenge the hand-me-down politics that have guided our gradual decline.

I don't attribute Ravenstahl as the inspiration, but I think the attention he brings to local politics is promoting a feeling of publilc investment. People seem to once again have hope - hope that things are changing, hope that elected officials are listening, and hope that all this attention will necessitate intelligent decisions that promote the right kind of growth (and reduction) that this city needs so desperately.

Now whether or not this feeling will translate into easy victory for Luke is anyone's guess, but I'm of the mindset that a healthy challenge to the young incumbent (gasp) is good for everyone. DeSantis might even win on a fluke, and really shake things up. The takeaway is that this upcoming election, attention sponsored in part by Luke Ravenstahl, Mayor, will be the telltale indicator of this city's health. If things go as planned, and neither candidate bombs, a score of 35% or higher for DeSantis would mean that this city may actually turn the corner and correct some of its problems. If not, then my thoughts on hope, change, and intelligent decision making will go the way of the 30-40 year old demographic.


alecia s. said...

well said! i completely agree! let the dialog and dissenting opinions lead the way to everyone feeling truly invested in pittsburgh's future!

Bram Reichbaum said...

When I read your blog, Intern, it feels like I'm reading some other blog that I write while I'm on Ambien. Glad you're back.

I also put the over-under on DeSantis at 35%. If he pulls that off, the 2009 campaign begins pretty much that very election night. For which I would actually feel bad for Luke -- although it's great fun for the rest of the city.

the intern said...

Politics is a dish always best served through the lens of prescription sleep aids, or at least that's my mantra.

I see it differently; he's 27, the city's got problems in all areas, and a strong challenge from DeSantis will ring his bell.

But how he reacts to it will be the test - if Luke takes this election as an opportunity to get serious and become the new "leader" this city so desperately craves, pittsburgh wins, and he'll become a fixture.

A serious DeSantis showing opens the door even further for new ideas - and Luke's strategy of surrounding himself with smart people, even if he lacks experience, will pay off.

Schultz said...

You're going to be surprised at the outcome of this election. Its going to be much closer than you think. DeSantis will get at least 40% of the vote - but I think he will win. Why do I think that? Well, I was just out again today handing out pamphlets and talking to city residents with team DeSantis.

We were in Squirrel Hill, Point Preeze, East Liberty, and Highland Park. The sentiment in those parts is pretty much the same: "Luke's gotta go", "I'm glad to see you guys out here" and "I'm voting for DeSantis." Boo-ya! A few Luke-lovers mixed in but mostly people who hate Luke and want to see a good alternative in the November election.