Erik Holland for mayor

Casting a vote for Mayor among 18 possibilities should be easy.

Eliminating three-quarters of the field didn’t take me very long. Anyone Mayor Cashell or the Chamber of Commerce endorses is not for me. I’m not interested in voting for people who will continue to give away my tax dollars to their business cronies. If trickle-down economics worked, we’d have plenty of high-paying jobs with great benefits. Instead, we have layoffs in the Fire Department, under-resourced parks and recreation, and a highly-leveraged City that is lucky to cover its payroll each month.

In the past, I’ve been open to voting for Republicans, especially in non-partisan races. Not so much these days. Anyone still willing to run on the Republican ticket after the past decade of Tea Party domination with its anti-tax, anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-minority, anti-immigrant, anti-science and anti-poor people policies doesn’t share my values. Seems harsh but so is trying to control my personal life through a political philosophy based on one religious tradition and personal greed.

So that leaves me with just a handful of people to choose from, all of whom I know personally and respect. They’d all work hard and take the job seriously. Each has an independent voice and would be unlikely to be a pawn of big business or take a staff report as gospel. They’re already asking the right questions, and I’m pretty sure they’re in the race for the right reasons.

Early voting numbers have been abysmal and all signs point to a turnout even lower than the typical paltry rate, which means each vote will count much more than usual in an open primary with 18 candidates.

My neighbors and I have talked about voting as a bloc for a consensus candidate to extend our influence. It’s a smart idea but we can’t seem to settle on one person. Should we choose the person we think most likely to be able to compete against one of the corporate candidates in a general election? Or be true to ourselves and choose the person who best represents our values?

We had some experience with crowded primary voting in Ward 1 last cycle when we had to choose among nine candidates. We went with our preferred independent voice, Jenny Brekhus, and we’ve not been disappointed. Even though she had to compete citywide in the general election, a city policy that prevents us from choosing our own representative (and a violation of the Voting Rights Act), Jenny campaigned effectively and easily defeated the “business candidate”.

However, if we split the progressive vote for mayor among several people, we could end up with two of the “business is everything” candidates in November. But it seems the corporate titans are also split among several candidates, so if our side votes in greater numbers, we could end up with two progressive candidates on November’s ballot. That outcome would delight us like no other.

I don’t believe all that much in endorsements and I don’t think most voters do, either. If you’re going to take the time to vote, presumably you’re capable of making an informed decision.

Nevertheless, in my opinion, you won’t go wrong if you vote for Idora Silver, Hilary Schieve or Dolores Aiazzi. But I’ll be voting for Erik Holland. He’s running on the issues I care about: directing growth towards the urban core, enhancing public transportation, and making developers pay for the real cost of their projects. And he’s willing to publicly support the margins tax so our children can have a better future.

Erik may not make it through the primary, but he’s the person who best represents what I want for Reno’s future—a vibrant, healthy city that cares more about its citizens than corporate profits.