Democracy and Winning

There was a lot of tension in the air last night. Our school district had two ballot issues for the voters. One was an operating levy and the other a bond issue. In the end, we won both, and the victory will allow the positive momentum that the district has built for the last decade to continue without interruption. It was a victory for kids.

Digging into the victory brings a number of thoughts to the surface. First, it is hard to explain democracy to a five-year old. My daughter wanted to know why our neighbor had a sign opposing her school. I simply went with it is great to live in a place where all voices can be heard before the final decisions are made, but I have to admit that there were times when I wanted to tear down the sign myself.

Next, the outcome of the election rested on 60 votes out of 3000. The committee probably registered 60 new voters. The canvassers probably knocked on 60 more doors. Those that donated probably paid for 60 more fliers, and the leadership of the committee probably motivated their army of volunteers to find 60 more yes votes. The simple takeaway is individual votes do matter especially on a local level.

Finally, running these issues on the ballot during a time when the national rhetoric about what roles our government should play and how our tax dollars should be spent was very tricky. The idea that all politics are local is so often true, but the national dialogue really pushed on local elections during this cycle, and I would imagine the same will hold true in November.

P.S. Winning always feels good. The vibe for excellence can now go to the core.