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Why I am Running

I am running for mayor of the great City of Woonsocket. Read this post to find out why.

The first question that most folks ask me when I tell them that I'm running for mayor of Woonsocket is, "Are you crazy or just a glutton for punishment?" 

Well, watching the degradation of our once thriving city certainly drives me nuts, but I don't think I'm a masochist, so, I guess that that's a yes and a no.

For starters, I love Woonsocket, an I am proud to have been raised and live here. 

Our government - almost by its very nature - is a very reactionary beast. 

Now, I'm not saying that every problem we face is foreseeable, the disappearance of $10 million from Woonsocket's School Budget that precipitated the activation of the Woonsocket Budget Commission being a prime example of this, but if we fail to plan for foreseeable problems, we will have fewer resources available to deal with the unforeseeable issues when they materialize. Our leaders definitely need to think on their feet, but it it important to not get caught flat-footed on easily recognized future issues. It is more important than ever for our leaders to have a vision for the future of our municipalities and state, and a plan that is guided by the voice of the people. 

Voter participation in Woonsocket is atrocious. 

This, I believe, is due to many factors, but  I will outline two of them here. 

One, the biggest - some may say only - voting bloc in Woonsocket is the elderly.

Our parents and grandparents are clearly still very invested in the political process, but it seems that our youth and minority populations have given up on the political process, and who can blame them? You can only be marginalized for so long before you become disenfranchised. Our leaders have, quite frankly, pandered to the elderly population at the cost of every other potential voter in Woonsocket. If the youth and minority population wants to be heard and have their concerns addressed, the only option is to speak up at city council and school committee meetings, and at the polls. At the end of the day, whether you're young or old, black or white, liberal or conservative, I think we can agree that what we want is a safe, prosperous community that attracts good families and businesses, and allows them to thrive and succeed. 

Two, nothing seems to change for the better, no matter who we elect. 

This fact has stopped the participation of some of the staunchest advocates of our political process. How often have we heard the refrain, "Why vote when nothing ever changes?" I think that this is largely due to the ideological approaches to government by both of the major parties. The left wants to raise taxes, the right wants to cut spending and services. In Woonsocket's case, both things are happening. 

Now, I'm no economist, but if taxes go up, there should be a corresponding increase in services, and if services are cut, taxes should go down. Woonsocket  seems to be in a Twilight Zone episode where taxes and services are inversely proportional. That said, I believe that we can certainly be more prudent and efficient in how we spend the little revenue that we do have, but, like any business owner will tell you, you don't have to sell more widgets to make more money, you should first reduce your overhead. 

What we need in a leader

We need a leader  that will break the mold of the old-school approaches to solving financial crisises, which are clearly not working. One only has to look to the City of Braddock, Pennsylvania and Mayor John Fetterman to see examples of how new approaches can revitalize failing cities and towns. 

We need a leader that can reinvigorate our young people, and in a city that was built by immigrants, we definitely need to embrace and include those growing populations in the process.One of the biggest strengths of this city, state, and country is our diversity of cultures, creeds, and ideologies. We need to capitalize on that. 

We need a leader that has a plan, but that plan needs to be guided by what the residents of Woonsocket want to see in their city and government. I'll add that, just because someone doesn't vote - or doesn't vote for you - doesn't mean that they are not constituents. To that end, I will begin a listening tour of the city in March  to hear the concerns and ideas of citizens and business owners alike. 

There is a lot of negativity about Woonsocket, from within and without. We need to recognize our successes and potentials and put much more focus on those. 

Most importantly, we, as citizens, must realize that the successes and failures of our cities, towns, states, and countries do not rest solely on the backs of our elected leaders. We are just as responsible for every outcome, good or bad. For better or worse, we are all in this together, so let's come together and start watching our neighbors backs. 

I urge all Woonsocket residents that have given up on or never participated the process to register to vote, because this November, you will see a very different mayoral candidate on the ballot. 

For updates on the campaign, you can follow my blog, like my facebook page, and follow me on Twitter @DAFisherRI.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Cathy February 26, 2013 at 07:44 PM
Again, people need to take responsibility for their choices, actions, and people need to vote! Get involved. It's your right as a citizen. Once a person's frustrations leave them so bitter they are at risk for projecting certain attitudes, you have to be careful that it doesn't interfere with those you serve professionally. I feel for those who are being crunched by taxes. Again, change is needed. I think we need to explore all options and keep an open mind.
Woonsocket Rocket February 27, 2013 at 06:53 AM
Rather than bicker with your own personal agendas, why not think of a solution to the bigger picture. Cathy and MAE you are both very strong individuals but as a team you could be mighty. Put away your petty differences and work together. You two are the perfect ying and yang of the system. One of you is a home owner and one a renter. Now think of a great comprimise that would benifit and help both of you, and everyone around you. Let your voices be heard and maybe something will change. Don't bicker amongst each other! Tell your leaders what needs to be said.
Woonsocket Rocket February 27, 2013 at 07:05 AM
P.S. The rest of my statement from the other night apparently has not been approved. In short it said home owners can not complain because they voted against the super center that may have releived some of the tax burden, along with other large box home improvement stores that left for our neighboring towns. Also sec 8 needs to be reduced. Get people into the city that want to work, at a fair housing cost and jobs will follow. We need to realize that we are not to good for any job! Work no matter the pay or hours is a respectable accomplishment and we should hold strong to that principle or we will be doomed to fail.
MAE February 27, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Woonsocket Rocket: I have nothing against Cathy, she actually sounds a lot like me, a hard working city resident that is tired of paying to help those who make no effort to help themselves. As a single parent with no outside support, I have done well for myself. Perhaps I was a little too general in my statements and she took offense but because this site limits our responses we try to get our ideas across in as few words as possible. As far as trying to make changes by voicing our concerns, they seems they fall on deaf ears. I would vote for keeping businesses here and am sorry to see the box stores leave. They are doing what we residence want to do, cut our losses and go. It's sad but you can't blame them or us. Our elected officials have missed so many opportunities to grow this city but are obviously short sighted. They are now infringing on what I've worked so hard for and as much as I love my life here, I love my life more and feel I need to cut my losses and save myself. I don't drowned well, I kick and scream! Unfortunately the life guards are not paying attention nor doing their job.
Baywatch February 28, 2013 at 05:34 AM
1) New Issue Muni bonds are mostly flat at the moment. Even with favorable terms do you really expect to solve any of Woonsocket's problems with GO bonds? 2) The "Wall Street Fat Cats" that you speak of are being fed by the same government that you point to as a sample of guidance. The federal government IS subsidizing the banks while neglecting the long term interests of the people. Here is a simple breakdown: 1) The Treasury issues bonds which is sold on the open market. Primary dealers “purchase” the bonds at a discount (ie, less than the value of the bond). 2) The Primary dealers then sell the bonds for par value. 3) The Federal Reserve is one of the largest purchasers of these bonds 4) The Fed then holds the bond as a security instrument in its book at Yield to Maturity value What has just happened? Effectively, the government has just printed money. Which it then sold to the banks a less than face value which creates instant profit for the banks and has the dual benefit of adding “value” to the Fed’s balance sheet. It’s all monetary gimmicks, and it WILL eventually collapse the country. Just a matter of time now. Effectively, the government is subsidizing the banks that you are bitching about while espousing the merits of the government to save us. Utter nonsense.

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