Unfortunately, she's idealized the opportunities for all mayors based on examples from very large city mayors - cities with populations that rival the state of Ohio. But here's a glimpse of her perceptions, based on those models:
That's why I believe the solutions the country is so desperately looking for are going to come at the local level -- from our mayors and engaged citizens working with their communities. It's our cities, not the nation's capital, that are the real idea factory of our country. It's the Mayor's Mansion not the White House from which bold decision-making is likely to originate. It's from any house on your street not the House of Representatives where projects that will make your community a better place to live in are more likely to surface.
And as our nation becomes more polarized at the national political level, it becomes all the more important to nurture the commonality we have at the local level, where people care about what they've always cared about: their children, their families, their schools, their communities. And it's our mayors who are best positioned to take advantage of these bonds -- especially given that many of our national leaders have given up even trying.
It's at the local level where we are still able to fulfill President Obama's exhortation last year "to sharpen our instincts for empathy" and "constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American Dream to future generations." It's increasingly clear that for that circle to be widened nationally it will have to be widened locally first.I think it was the use of the word "mansion" that clued me in to her frame of reference, as you'll see in the full column: Newark (NJ), Portland (OR), Tampa (FL), Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago.
Scalability isn't just a glossary term on our kids' midterms this month. It's something all communities should seek to deploy in a variety of problem-solving settings. I think I'm just having trouble seeing Arianna as the messenger.