Local politics are more fun. I want to talk about local politics – in particular Athens-Clarke County.

National politics are so warped by partisan media, lobbyists, fake facts, and labels that any sane discussion is near impossible.

State politics, well, those are fun too, but the problem is that Georgia is a one-party state. So, any solutions or discussions must contain appropriate buzzwords to be palatable. Any others are slightly better than pointless. Plus, not many people know quite what the State Assembly does anyway.

Local politics. I only discovered them recently – this 2010 election cycle actually. And despite people’s attempts to put labels and make it hyper-partisan – Athenian politics at least seem to be so full of conflicting interests, ideas, and complexities – not to mention daily, drive-by-on-the-way-to-work realities, that it defies stereotypes and rigid coalitions.

When I started trying to learn about Athenian politics, I found that for a county/city of 110,000 people, there is a dearth of discussion. A free, weekly paper seems to drive the in-town conversation. A couple reporters from a hollowed-out local daily provides the journalism. And no more than a couple of blogs (such as Beyond the Trestle) comments occasionally on the aforementioned publications. And that’s it.

So, I figured I might learn a lot by doing and soliciting a few comments. I’ve lived in the Athens area for 12 years, and in the city/county for 4 years – so I have no history to go on other than what people tell me, and the books I read, so hopefully I’ll learn a good deal about how things are the way they are.


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