The following was submitted by Ed Jaworski, president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association and director of the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance. Looking to get involved? E-mail Jaworski.
There was the fictional town of Mayberry in the popular 1960′s TV series, “The Andy Griffith Show.” Who decided that Mayor Stoner would run to succeed Mayor Pike? Were Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife elected or appointed by some never-seen political boss?
Since Mayberry was a small, one traffic sign town, picture ordinary people, rather than a “political machine,” making these decisions. Perhaps conversations first took place among neighbors at the barber shop or general store, and then solidified at a town hall gathering. Certainly such citizen participation is what was intended by this country’s founding fathers when town meetings took place in colonial–era churches
The U.S. Constitution begins with “We the people.” It doesn’t refer to party leaders, or political clubhouses, or backroom deals, or following party rules. It probably envisioned neighbors openly getting together so that they might decide on representatives.
So, where do “We the people” fit into the process of selecting candidates for vacant elected posts – especially Anthony Weiner’s seat in Congress?
Probably about where our Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods were last winter in the snow removal debacle: Buried under excuses, wondering who to trust.