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We Are Greenport

posted Mar 13, 2015, 4:50 AM by Doug Roberts
Last summer Mary and I were walking around town with the baby- who was tiny at that point- and she said to me "You know, if you DO ever run for office, I know what you should call your political organization: 'We Are Greenport'".  I loved it and shortly after that secured the url for it.  

We Are Greenport is a description of how I envision myself as a leader in this community.  We Are Greenport is the method I will use to solve problems. It's the idea that all of us should be able to understand what our government is doing and participate in its processes.  We Are Greenport is the most succinct way to describe why I want to serve as a Trustee.  

Right now when I walk around town I see a lot of different Greenports.  I see a Greenport with thriving businesses in the summer but many that struggle to get through the winter. I see a Greenport of bedroom community homes, a Greenport of vacant second homes, a Greenport of neglected and unsafe homes, and a Greenport in which landlords earn a buck while putting tenants- including young kids- in harm's way through unsafe living conditions.  I see a Greenport where the main issues challenging us are a lack of career-oriented jobs and the tourism-ization of the economy, and I see a Greenport where businesses believe the village needs to do more to increase tourism via events like Tall Ships.  I see a Greenport where long-time homeowners want to participate in the booming tourism economy through legal short-term rentals in legal 2-family homes, and a Greenport where B&Bs and hotel owners want those who rent short-term rooms to be held to the same standards as they are.  

I am not running for Trustee because I have the answers to all these problems. I am running for Trustee because I think I have a good shot and building the coalitions and organizing community members to come up with compromises on which both sides can agree. I've been doing this work for 15 years in the private sector and with school district administrators, and now I am hoping to have the opportunity to do it on your behalf. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, well I've found that the whiteboard and a couple of different colored markers can fell the mightiest of dragons, and all begins with something simple: let's write down in green everything on which all parties agree, and let's build toward consensus.  Sometimes it takes a lot of cups of coffee and maybe a pastry or two, but by facilitating face-to-face conversations amongst different interest groups in town, we can get things done and get Greenport set up for a bright future.  

Hence: We Are Greenport!  See you all tonight at 6:00.  Last candidate forum- excited!