A conversation between two ordinary people about their community happened next. Mostly, Shadid just listened patiently. At the end of our conversation, for the very first time in my 50-plus years, I knew a political candidate had listened to what I said.
Not only did Shadid win a landmark victory over an opponent that outspent him, but he has never stopped listening to us ordinary people, all while continuing to rack up a slew of political milestones.
Milestone 1: Shadid sets the standard for accessibility in public service by actively engaging with his constituents, meeting with people from all walks of life.
Milestone 2: Shadid fulfilled pledges he made to the people of Ward 2 by pursuing openness, accountability and transparency in city hall dealings and MAPS projects.
Milestone 3: Since elected as Ward 2 councilman, he has hosted six public town hall meetings covering public safety, health, transit, sprawl, the proposed Oklahoma City Boulevard
and the proposed convention center, each funded on his dime.
Milestone 4: In spite of an irrelevant report by The Daily Oklahoman, Shadid continues to propose options and alternatives that might better serve the people. That he is persecuted for this seems a testament to just how seriously the Good Old Boy power structure is threatened by honest debate.
Milestone 5: Ed Shadids vision for Oklahoma City is to become not just a destination but a vibrant city filled with thriving people and communities connected by parks, sidewalks, bike trails and viable public transit, a city shared by all its people.
Shadid understands democracy is founded on we the people, and that means all of us.
We the people are folks barely getting by in a city in which the poverty rate under our current mayor is 17.6 percent, higher than state and national averages.
We the people are families living in neighborhoods with bars on their windows and doors, where it can take up to 45 minutes for an understaffed police force to respond.
We the people are kids in schools without kitchens cooking real food, where menus are unhealthy, kids who are likely to become the first generation to die at a younger age than their parents.
Please consider voting for Ed Shadid for mayor of OKC on March 4.
Shauna Lawyer Struby is a writer, Ward 2 resident and co-founder of Transition OKC, a nonprofit serving as a catalyst for thriving local communities meeting their needs in healthy, sustainable and resilient ways.
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