Intense Campaign Over Props 1 & 2 Are Good for All: Besides, It's the Council's Fault

RECEIVED Thu., May 11, 2006

Dear Editor,
    Apparently, Black doesn't actually like democracy – or at least not the part about people strongly disagreeing with each other [“Page Two,” May 12]. Since the very first elections in this country, political campaigns have been hot, and people get involved at a personal level. When there is no heat, it may be a sign that neither the officials we elect nor the propositions before us actually promise anything significant to the voters. Then we think our vote doesn't matter.
    This election is about real issues that matter – development over the watershed and the accountability of our government. More than any election in recent memory, the propositions have forced candidates to stake out positions on these issues, even if they say they oppose the propositions themselves. We have enjoyed a rich public debate about tax abatements, grandfathering, toll roads, access to information, police accountability, and much more.
    If Black doesn't like the tone of that debate, he should look to City Council, who set the tone at the very beginning. A court had to step in and overturn the council's very personal, very black-and-white reaction.
   When council launches its campaign from the dais, using its public acts to electioneer, the tone has been set, and not in a civil or respectful way.
    I usually agree with the Chronicle's endorsements, but the council's reaction alone is the reason I'm voting for 1 and 2 – it really makes me wonder if they have something to hide.
David Mauro
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