I was speaking with someone by phone who wants to try and make a positive change here in Albany. She said to me that she didn’t want to stir up anything and that she thought she could make the local officials change their minds about something through positive discussion. I applaud her attitude.
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s going to accomplish that much.
You see, history has shown us that local officials here in Albany have a tendency to be obstinate on the whole. There are local officials who support this lady’s cause, though they are concerned about how much support they would get, but officials on the whole are doing everything they can to block this kind woman’s efforts.
The truth of the matter is that in Albany, sometimes you just have to pick a fight. That’s not a bad thing either. Our forefathers picked a fight with England over concepts like “no taxation without representation”. They did it because they knew change was necessary, and they didn’t see the powers that be agreeing with them.
Now, I don’t think it’s necessary to take up arms in Albany except to defend yourself from the criminal elements, but I do think it’s past time for people who are trying to champion good causes to step up and not be afraid to “throw an elbow” at least once. In this town, the powers that be don’t take you seriously unless you’re willing to make them pay for not taking you seriously.
Of course, I have a vested interest in this. I own a newspaper that is known for being more than a little critical of the local governmental entities. It was like that when Bill Davis sat in my chair, and continued on through Sandy Farkas and Kevin Hogencamp, and I have continued this proud tradition. However, I’m not going to advise people to come to me to “throw” their proverbial elbows. Do whatever you feel you need to, within the confines of the law (and do not cross that line. You will only hurt your cause after all).
Is it a shame that people can’t seem to get the results otherwise? Yes, it is. However, this is the world we live in.
It’s also worth noting that picking a fight shouldn’t just be about local government. There are plenty of things worth fighting for, and many of them are just things in our community. We have a dirty city. We have sky high crime. We have a plethora of problems that need addressing.
So pick a fight, and don’t be afraid to make that stand however you can. If your cause is just, and you obey the law, then the rest will take care of itself.