Politicians Take Note: Mind Your Constituents

Posted on September 9, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Greg Nickels, Mayor of Seattle, Washington recently lost his bid for a third term in office, trailing two political newcomers in the primary vote. Mr. Nickels, a Democrat and president of the United Conference of Mayors, has won national acclaim for his advocacy on environmental issues and has been publicly praised for his efforts by President Obama.

The lesson? All politics are local. While Mr. Nickels rose to national prominence his popularity at home suffered. Job losses and financial trouble at Microsoft, Starbucks & Boeing, some of Seattle’s biggest employers, have left his constituents anxious. Mr. Nickels is criticized for not paying enough attention to local economic issues and other local issues including, a poor response to a record snowstorm in December which left many residents stranded on unplowed streets and a $4.2 billion transit project he approved which Seattle residents had rejected.

Our advice? In this climate of economic unrest it’s important for politicians, all the way up the line, to “mind the basics.” National platforms are great but it’s your constituents who give you that platform and who can take it away.

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