The teasing I gave my friend the other week notwithstanding (and as I admitted), I'm just now making up my mind for most of the local offices on next month's ballot — in particular Alameda City Council, for which there are two open seats.
This morning I got a mailing from Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. Now, "Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft" is a name I've been hearing for quite awhile, especially since moving to Alameda. Her resumé is certainly impressive; hers is one of the two or three names I'm most familiar with, she seems to be taking the more-or-less standard climb through the East Bay Democratic structure (I don't mean that at all disparagingly; I've lived around here long enough to understand that's how it works), and at first blush, I'd be inclined to support her.
This was something about this mailing, tho, that I found just a tad offputting. The text starts out in a manner that I guess is more or less de rigueur if you're running for office in Alameda: "I grew up in Alameda. My husband and I raised our children here."
That's great. That's terrific. I understand completely — believe me, I understand. A lot of that tradition is what attracted me and much of my cohort here after the turn of the century. I totally grasp the need, electorally, to speak to that.
But Ms. Ashcraft, I grew up in New York, I've lived in the East Bay for 32 years, and moved to Alameda 8½ years ago. In that respect, I believe I represent a larger chunk of Alameda than many realize. The post-base-closing cohort, for want of a better term.
What do you have to say to us? Do you, indeed, recognize that this cohort is out here, and that our needs, our interpretation of that tradition, aren't always congruent with that of "long-time" Alamedans?
This is something I've commented on before, the "cultural" changes that those of us who moved here since the 1990s have engendered. But I never hear a local office-seeker talk about it.