“A celebration of being human by drafting legislation & voting on policies that promote human development; making it so that we ALL have the potential to maximize our unique gifts and talents for the betterment of the community.”
That is the Mission Statement of The Human Party.
“What is the Human Party?” You ask.
It is the Party under whose name I am running for City Council.
Yes, it is true that I sought the Democratic endorsement. Yes, it is true that I did not receive it. Nine truly deserving people did get endorsed by the Democratic Party and I congratulate them. When asked what I would do if I did not receive the endorsement over the past few weeks, I have replied, “I will run as an independent and win.”
I have been told that independent non-incumbents rarely, if ever, win City Council elections. That’s fine, because that is about to change.
I have been told that I don’t have enough money. That’s fine, I have loads of friends, and those friends have even more friends. And these friends are intelligent, they vote, and they are loud. They also donate what they can, when they can, and we will raise what we need to run a successful campaign.
I have been told that I should not support the Streetcar, the parking lease, or other progressive projects & policies because it is “political suicide.” That’s fine, I’d rather stand by my convictions and have integrity as this process unfolds.
I have been told (from the beginning) by my Campaign Manager, Eric, a registered Republican, that I should run as an independent since my politics blend fiscal responsibility and socially progressive ideals. Well, Eric – looks like the Fates were on your side.
For over a month I have been trying my best to run as a Human Party candidate AND a Democrat. I have been waiting for the day that I found out whether or not I received the endorsement so that I could continue the campaign as one or the other. I recently found out that I did not receive the Democratic endorsement.
I would have been thrilled to receive the Democratic endorsement, for then I would have been able to run under the safe auspices of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. Plus, I know the Democrat ethos in and out. It would have made life much easier.
I also told Team Moroski that I would be thrilled to NOT receive the Democratic endorsement because then I could run with no strings attached – no party to whom I had to answer – no phone calls from executive committees telling me how I should vote, etc. I also would be able to run under the exciting auspices of the Human Party.
Around nine years ago, my friend Joe Rouse and I were having drinks at the Corner Pub in Montgomery. At the time, Joe and I both taught English at Moeller High School, and we were hanging out after parent/teacher conferences. Joe and I always have great talks – typically about music, politics, or books. The conversation I am referencing was about politics. As Joe will tell you, or anyone who has known me for a significant amount of time, I have always dreamed of running for elected office. That evening, our conversation turned toward party-politics.
This was around the time that George W. Bush was running for re-election and I was hitting the pavement HARD on behalf of John Kerry – a candidate I supported, but not so much because I REALLY liked him, but because I could not handle another four years of Bush. I was feeling disenchanted with the political process. At the Kerry office in East Walnut Hills I remember telling the other volunteers that Bush’s gay marriage ploy would not swing voters, that no one in America really cared about that anymore, that people cared about foreign wars and the economy. I was called an “idealist,” to which I took great offense. I go to great lengths to learn the issues and educate myself. As a result, being called an “idealist” is anything but a compliment to me.
When the gay marriage ploy DID work, and 11 States banned gay marriage and Bush won AGAIN, I had to go to therapy. Honestly, I did. I had worked so hard to see this country make a change and the people in whom I believed so wholeheartedly had let me down. At least, that’s how I interpreted it. In reality, no one had let ME down. However, I had to find a way to distance myself from hate-mongers, those holding onto ideologies of long ago, and those who fear change of any kind. It was not their fault, I realized – they just didn’t know what they were doing. They had been lied to for so long that the lies became truth. So, I decided to love them as much, if not more, than those I called, “friends.” It was the only way to find peace so that I could continue trying to make a difference in the lives of the low-income and homeless people with whom I was working in Over-the-Rhine.
Joe and I talked about all of this and more (including a healthy dose of Humanism and Kurt Vonnegut). We talked about how the Green Party was not a valid option in 2004 (even though in 2000 I did work on behalf of Nader/LaDuke), that voting Green oftentimes led to Republican victory. And then Joe said something that I have never forgotten. We discussed the pragmatic approach to idealism, or the idealistic approach to pragmatism (you decide), and how we need to balance the two so that everyone in our communities can thrive. That’s when it happened. That’s when Joe said, “when you decide to run, you should be the first Human Party candidate.”
And now I am.
And now Joe is serving as the Press Secretary for Team Moroski.
Joe and I have talked about the Human Party in nearly every conversation we have had since that day. I have done my best to outline (in my head) what the Human Party is – what makes it different. In brief, the major tenet of the Human Party is making policy decision with human beings at the center of the decision.
Seems easy enough, right?
Every single decision I have made as a teacher, House Dean, Administrator, Board member, moderator, retreat-planner, husband, family-member, has had human beings as the central focus of the decision. And making those decisions a reality has not always equated to making more friends. Standing up for what is right and just is difficult.
An example – as Dean of Student Life at Purcell Marian I was a part of a team that was researching a new administrative model for the school (which will be implemented next school year). The goal was to create a cost-effective structure that delivered the best services imaginable for the students. It can be difficult to try and represent students in meetings that are void of a student voice – in the same way making decisions about homeless people without a homeless voice can make advocating more difficult.
The structure I researched and proposed was designed so that the students of Purcell Marian would be the primary beneficiaries. To push forward with changes, certain policies had to be called into question. And policies, as we all know, are designed by people. At the end of the day, to question policies that are not human-centric, you have to question and (sometimes) fight the people who drafted those policies and implemented them. No one likes to be told that their policies are bad. People get tied up in their policies as if they are a part of their soul (like Horcruxes – take the policy away and a piece of them dies). But policies are NOT people. Policies are actualized macro-ideas that are intended (ideally) to benefit others on the micro-life level.
And that last equation needs some work. I would rewrite it as “policies are actualized micro-ideas that are intended to benefit others on the macro-life level.” A simple change, but significant.
When I am in office I do not promise that all of my ideas will work. In fact, I am certain some will not. However, when they do not, I will not fight to keep them in place simply because they were MY ideas. Now, if my ideas ARE working, and others, with their own non-human-centric policies, are fighting to overturn something I have implemented, I guarantee you that I will fight to keep my policies in place so that human beings can thrive. If you, the citizen, are benefiting from something I have authored or supported, I will not let political ideologues take it away from you. THAT, I do promise.
So now I move forward not beholden to any political party. I move forward as I always have, by making human-centric decisions based on intense study and research. I move forward on a campaign that will be remembered as one that defied all the odds, as one where a non-incumbent, independent, Human Party candidate won in a heated election year. I move forward with all of YOUR help. For the Human Party is nothing without human support.
I look forward to running WITH you this year, and to celebrating our victory in November as one in which the people spoke on behalf of ALL human beings.