So. I’m the co-chair of the Patrick/Murray Transition working group on “civic engagement.” This means a couple of things. One, I will probably have next to no time for blogging over the next couple of weeks, except for posts relating directly to the transition, since we have a lot to do and very little time in which to do it.
Two, I intend to post fairly frequently about the transition generally, and about civic engagement in particular. And I really want the BMG community to get as involved as possible in the transition effort. Like I said — before I had any idea I would be involved in the transition — “civic engagement” is exactly what this blog has always been about. Your thoughts and ideas are essential if this process is going to work.
Our group been asked to consider three general “principles” in going about our task:
- Converting the grassroots campaign into a way of governing;
- Increasing civic engagement; and
- Rebuilding communities throughout the state.
Fairly general principles. A big part of our charge is to flesh them out.
Let’s start with the first. I’d guess that a lot of people are thinking the same way as Jon Keller did when he interviewed campaign manager John Walsh and chief strategist Doug Rubin (click the video entitled “Keller At Large – Part 2: Patrick Advisors Break Down The Campaign):
When I hear Deval — the Governor-elect — say he wants to continue to govern from the grassroots, and you guys have talked about that already, and he talks about town meetings and so forth, my cynicism just is aroused. Because I’ve seen so many bright, sincere politicians get mired in the cocoon of the daily grind, and become isolated from people. Tell me why I’m wrong here. Why this is not going to happen to this guy?
What do you think? Is Keller right to be cynical? If he’s not, why is Deval Patrick different? And perhaps more importantly, what are the structures that can be put in place to help Gov. Patrick stay in touch with, and leverage the strength of, the grassroots? What needs to change about the way government works in order to accomplish this very important goal?
To have gotten to this point — where a Democratic Governor is set to reclaim the corner office, and wants to take the grassroots right in there with him — is remarkable. Now’s your chance to make it happen by telling us your ideas on how it can work. Start on this thread. Come to the public meetings — we plan to hold several, and I’ll publicize them on BMG. You can also write in your comments here — though I’d ask that you also post them on BMG so that they can be the subject of discussion. Don’t stay on the sidelines for this one.