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    Ellen Toomey: “I’ve learned to trust the connections we’ve created”

    Ellen Toomey, one of the candidates who did not prevail in the City Council election, wrote an inspiring artcle on her thoughts at the election result and ideas for solidarity in the community:   

    “I am celebrating the awesome victory of Barack Obama. On the local front, the Albany City Council was INCREDIBLY close, between all six candidates. I, alas, did not prevail.

    Conventional wisdom held the day — two seats were won by the two incumbents, with the third seat (and highest vote count) going to a well-known, long-time candidate re-entering city council. The closeness of the race plus other factors were in no way conventional, though!

    I wish to thank you, thank you, for your support and for helping me run a clean campaign. My votes received, per dollars spent, is very respectable — especially for a new name.

    Positive energy put out into the world is never wasted! (I’ll keep looking for the proper quote to illustrate this sentiment — is it by the Dalai Lama? Emma Goldman? Mother Teresa? Nelson Mandela? Barack Obama?)

    I’m going to repeat (for some of you) what I’ve learned in this campaign:

    From knocking on doors all around town I’ve learned that people in Albany are amazing! Generous, insightful, probing, humorous, concerned, and keen on connection.

    From those of you who gave me your immediate support, I’ve learned to trust the connections we’ve created. From those who asked some questions and from those of you who grilled me on issues and/or about my orientation/alliances/allegiances — then took that leap of faith to endorse me — I’ve learned that mutual respect and understanding are vastly more important and powerful than our differences.

    Our community and our kids require us to be at our very best, to effectively and creatively meet massive economic and environmental challenge. No need to manufacture more conflict of our own! And along with very real challenges, individual and collective, we are blessed with abundance and freedom unknown in most of the world. We can play to each others’ strengths, hear each other’s interests and concerns, get the best information available, look at existing models of what works, and make the best-informed decisions possible.

    Yours in gratitude, in delight for the big victories, in solidarity for the work ahead,


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