My name is George McDowell. I stand for election to the District C seat on the Cary Town Council.
I'm a registered Democrat. However, I declined to be considered by the party for endorsement because (1) the Town of Cary Council is a non-partisan institution, and an introduction of partisan-party politics into the body would inevitably render it paralyzed, similar to the way the North Carolina legislature and the United States Congress are party-paralyzed, and (2) Only two of ten members of the party's Endorsement Committee even live in the Town of Cary [the others live in Raleigh, Apex, Holly Springs, Garner, &c.], and the two who do live in Cary don't live in District C.
We can't fathom a reason why Democrats who are Cary District C voters should be guided by outsiders.
My Objectives are crafted to benefit all of us in District C -- Unaffiliated voters, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, &c. I don't want to be — and am not — obligated to a special-interest group.
It's my opinion that the current Council has done a fine job of governing the Town. They have fallen short in one area only – the care of our environment – and that area is at this time, sad to say, the most critical – by far – for the citizens of Cary and for the rest of the 7.9 billion humans around the world.
My main focus, along with working on the affordable housing problem, is care for the environment. On these pages you'll see my concrete environmental proposals – proposals that can be begun immediately, that won't be expensive to institute, and that will yield actual economic, social, psychological, physiological, and aesthetic benefits. In short they will markedly improve our quality of life, in the true sense of that phrase.
I'm running against Jack Smith, the incumbent in District C for seven full terms and this extended eighth. I have high regard and respect for Mr. Smith, and have nothing negative to say about him. We've talked about this election. I've come away from those talks with high expectations that this campaign will be a positive one, and that we will be able to conduct a spirited race where robust and fair debate on the issues is paramount.
Cary citizens Geraldine and George McDowell.
In early 2021 I and some other environmentally-concerned citizens formed a loose group to search for candidates to run in this election, and when identified we'd back them with legwork and contributions. We wanted candidates who would mount strong environmental stands. One of our premises was that we'd give preference to those who were members of historically-underrepresented groups, with the intention of making our Council look more like the community it represents. Our hope was to find women interested in running, and young people.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to identify any candidates. The group then asked me to stand for election. After polling many of the environmental and other progressive groups in Cary and surrounding areas to see if members of those groups would approve of my platform and support my candidacy, I made the decision to run. Although I'd rather relax and enjoy my retirement [and attempt to write the Good American Novel], if elected I'll serve faithfully and to the best of my ability.
In 2019 I was preparing to run for a seat on Council, with the intention of winning. I met Ya Liu, who also intended to run. Two hours into a very long lunch I realized that she was a superior candidate in a variety of ways. The next day, I scrapped my plans to run and threw my resources into backing her. Dr. Liu won in a landslide.
In 2017 I ran against Mr. Yerha for an At-Large seat on Council. I had no expectation of winning. I ran because I (1) was appalled at the extraordinarily low voter turnouts for the odd-year [Council] elections, (2) was sad that there was so little civic interest that oftentimes incumbents ran unopposed, and (3) wanted to raise the level of debate on critical environmental issues. I had no expectation of winning, and was beaten handily. Nevertheless, I was pleased recently when another audience member at a Council meeting told me that even though I had lost that election, I had really won – because the level of environmental debate in Cary had risen dramatically since that campaign and election. I have every intention and high expectations of winning this election.
One final note: I was criticized in the 2017 campaign, in some instances severely, for bringing to light specific areas in which Cary's environment was degraded. The criticism focused on the public relations aspect, and that my actions would contradict the oft-repeated platitude, that "Cary is a great place to live, work, and play." Of course Cary is a great place to live, work, and play. It is far better than other places. But that fact has nothing to do with its problems. Because we are superior to other jurisdictions does not give us license to ignore our faults. I prefer to live in a community that does not settle for the comparative, but one that strives to be as good as it can be. – ESSE QUAM VIDERI – I don't point out problems our town has to denigrate it, I do so in order to improve it. We cannot improve what we fail to admit. The criticism is unwarranted.