Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Visiting the Seventh Floor
Today I had a conversation with a McGinn mayoral aide. It was McGinn who appointed me to the taxi advisory commission, allowing me a voice however small addressing the local governmental process. Today, after learning last week that the "for-hire" industry had hired a former deputy mayor as a lobbyist, I felt compelled to firmly present our view (the local taxi industry) of what they are doing and why. Most don't know that as an eighteen year old I took on the United States government and won, having been granted my 1-0 conscientious objector status by my Adams County, Brighton, Colorado Selective Service board in November 1972. I say this only to state the obvious, that I am willing to stand by my convictions, by what I believe is right and just. Back then in 1972 I was facing two years in prison as I was planning on refusing induction if I didn't achieve my exemption. Again, I am not afraid to take a stand and live with any and all consequences. Another fact that most don't know is that in 1972 I was only three years removed from near permanent "landed immigrant" status in Canada. In other words I didn't have to argue with the American government, instead being welcomed back across the border. But I refuse to be pushed around. Hiring the new lobbyist has upped the ante. As the saying goes, they are now playing "hard ball." I personally think that is not the best or productive decision or approach to take. I have reached out to the "for-hire" folks and a few minutes ago I sent a conciliatory and friendly email to their primary lobbyist. He is a good guy and I told him that we the industry are interested in a just resolution. As I said this afternoon, the "for-hire" drivers must stop picking up off the streets within Seattle's city limits. They must begin operating within the business parameters that have been set for them. I understand their difficulties. I and others within the taxi industry are willing to talk about their situation. As Obama yesterday reached out to all Americans, I suggest that we too extend our hands to each other. A much better option than filing lawsuits. We need to talk. Let us talk!