Breathe some fresh air, Dems

I was part of a small group to organize the county Democratic forum in Fairview recently. I had a tough job to keep the “forum” definition viable: from Latin—foris, out of doors.

“We don’t want citizen participation,” I was told when I suggested a question oriented on the subject [of] promoting transparency, or adding an e-mail [address] to the ad in our town paper so the citizens could send their questions in advance for us to study and prepare for, or even proposing a bipartisan forum.

I had to insist [in order] for the matter of citizen participation to be taken into consideration, but it was turned down by e-mail after a member of the group, who was supposed to take our drafted questions and rewrite them, wrote to me that my question was not “well written” enough to be considered.

I feel like I have been censored—my questions pushed aside—and that the Mountain Spring community was not represented [because] we have serious concerns about our water, wells and springs due to the arrival of the giant Cliffs golf course and its five tons of chemicals a year in our watershed.

Fairview is under a spell or a paralysis, as no one wants to speak up or act, in order to sleep better, comfort each other and make no waves. Self-censorship is common. With years of neglect and inattention, we are starting to hear such incredible statements as: “We don’t want citizen participation.” And this is, for me, the sign that our local democracy and our party are in danger.

Intentionally reducing the citizen participation and using censorship at such a basic level of participatory democracy is scandalous. … [We need] scrutiny and questioning of the real intentions at every level of the system. We should not muzzle citizen participation or dictate the destiny of a community that easily. We should be their representative, conducting business in their name with integrity and devotion.

— Francois Manavit
Vice-Chair, Democratic Precinct 39.2
Fairview

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.