Monday, March 10, 2008

2000 Revenue Sharing speech on video

Charlottesville, Va.- The 30-minute video from April 11, 2000 at the Senior Center captures the speeches given that day by 8 of the 9 candidates. It was the first forum of that year's City Council campaign and, for some of the speakers, it was their debut to the political stage.

1. Kevin Lynch (D).
2. John Bright (R).
3. Blair Hawkins (I) revenue sharing.
4. John Pfaltz (R).
5. Elizabeth Fortune (R).
6. Kevin Cox (I).
7. Stratton Salidis (I).
8. Meredith Richards' (D) speech cut short at end of tape.

Maurice Cox (D) was out of town for the first forum. Nicholas Shannon was the camera man and initial voice on the video.

The last time there were this many Council candidates was 1976. A Daily Progress front page displayed a photo of each of the 10 candidates leading up to Election Day. The 2000 video shows the late Mitch Van Yahres arrived late and missed the speech against revenue sharing. At the time, I gave a copy to NBC-29 for the historical record

I (Hawkins) decided to run because my friend Stratton was running. I said to myself...if some dude can move here and a couple years later campaign for town council, then I, a local native, could consider myself a logical candidate. I was the only candidate who had attended the schools funded by City Council.

I had a campaign strategy. By focusing on serious issues, I hoped to trivialize the other candidates. But there was a downside to the substance. My message didn't fit neatly into soundbites. But I knew I would be speaking to the future. I knew I had to preserve my own history. I knew I would make mistakes.

The next night I reinforced the revenue sharing argument at the Fry's Spring Neighborhood Association forum (Apr. 12). This time I rehearsed and timed my speech to fit within the 3 minutes. I was able to make hay because there had been a shootout that morning one block from my house. A school bus was passing by and saw the gunfight in the 600 block of Hinton Avenue in Belmont. I called on people to inform on the perpetrators as I had turned in the city and county for taxation without representation.

My anti-revenue sharing argument was flawed. Taxation without representation is perfectly legal in the United States. The revenue is represented by county supervisors who spend it on the city. In the city the free money has subsidized urban neglect, failed projects, and allowed Council to become increasingly unresponsive. As with any welfare, the city resentment toward the county has grown and was demonstrated in the YMCA pool debate.

For me, the third forum (Apr. 13) was the most emotional of the 6 forums that election cycle. At Charlottesville High School, the first words out of my mouth were "This is a violent school." I went on to detail the violence and analyze the pro-violence policies. Whenever you force a kid to be in school who doesn't want to be there, you will have problems. But our teachers have no respect from the children because the children are not safe. In 2006 the city elected 3 school board members who made excuses and justified the malicious violence.

The fourth and fifth forums were on the environment. I had a position paper which I handed out at the Apr. 19 Green Vision forum at Gordon Avenue library. The Sierra Club had a forum at Unitarian Church on Rugby Road. The Sierra Club forum is where Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority director Arthur Petrini explained that water restrictions were not ordered for the 1999 drought because water reserves had not fallen below 60%.

The League of Women Voters sponsored the final forum at Lane Auditorium. I refined my positions on revenue sharing, public safety, school violence, and water quality. I hope this summary gives some context.

Document of Charges. Letter to the President April 7, 2000. Incendiary Closing Remarks: "If you need another reason to stop revenue sharing, I offer this: Revenue without Representation gives the appearance of treason. A crime against democracy is the highest crime in the nation. I urge the city and county to strike down revenue sharing."

12 people call for investigation revenue sharing.

Speech at Fry's Spring Beach Club April 12, 2000

Speech to City Council April 17, 2000

The campaign brochure - business card.

Question 1, League of Women Voters forum April 22, 2000.

Question 2, League of Women Voters forum April 22, 2000. I constantly hear people basically say we can't do anything different than how we're doing it now. Hollywood Video serves as model to reform city government.


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