On April 2nd, 20 percent of the Carbondale population cast its votes for mayor, city council, and other elected offices. The Carbondale Spring had been vigorously campaigning on behalf of four candidates who supported, in full or in part, our plan to transform the city from its current identity as a dying college town into the most ambitious city in the country tackling the social and ecological problems of our time. Two out of the four candidates we were campaigning for won; two out of the four candidates we were campaigning for lost. The two candidates who won were incumbents, and while our efforts may have helped, we can’t take too much credit for it.
Throughout our organizing, we’ve been very clear: the Carbondale Spring is a community-led, grassroots initiative that will continue regardless of who wins the election. We stand by this, and expected that our campaign to re-prioritize city spending would encounter obstacles no matter who was in office. So while its sad to see some of our candidates lose, we aren’t slowing down.
In the coming months, we aim to deepen and broaden our organizing, continuing to go door to door, to conduct meetings and public education events to develop our initiatives, and to build a broad coalition of groups from all sides of town to make the Carbondale Spring a reality. We invite you and any community groups you are involved in to continue to spread the word, publicly endorse the initiative, and invite us to come give a presentation. There will be film screenings, workshops, visiting speakers, and a host of other events that aim to build a movement for transforming our town into one of the most unique, compassionate, and ecologically restorative places in the country. A city people will want to stay in, visit, and believe in.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard over the past month, to everyone who has invited us into their homes and meetings, and to everyone who has allowed this vision to take hold in their hearts. We have a lot of work to do; but that’s nothing new. What is new is that we’ve taken a first step out of our isolation and out of the paralysis that comes from mere criticism of the world. We’ve taken a step toward a positive vision of a future worth living in. All we have to do is continue stepping. The road is made by walking.