First things first. As we predicted, Carty got shellacked.
He got trounced. Filleted and served. Embarrassed and dismissed. It was the most lopsided mayoral election loss in modern T-Town history.
Hopefully he learned his lesson. His time for election success has passed, and the electorate wants to move forward, not back.
You might think this would equate to a return to our former pledge to consign him to the dustbin of history and never mention him again in this column. As the wag puts it, not so fast.
Don’t mourn, organize
On one hand, he should be over and out when it comes to electoral politics. On the other hand, he has shown where his continued strength lies. Community organizing.
He is a laser-focused bulldog when it comes to causes he is passionate about. Feeding Toledo’s underfed youth? Carty’s on the scene! And highly effective at raising awareness, volunteers, and ducats.
When there was a distinct likelihood that the former MCO hospital in South Toledo would close, Carty sprang into action. He organized rallies, pressured decision-makers, and raised public understanding of the issues.
Unlike his recent electoral failures, he, and the “save the hospital” movement he led, won.
Where should he go next? The answer is obvious.
Putting out the fire
Toledo has already set a record for homicides this year. Non-lethal gun incidents are also unacceptably high. No increase in police presence will be enough to address the mental health issues, the domestic problems, the turf wars. Wade’s violence interrupters will take time to prove their effectiveness, but we doubt they will be enough, either.
What is needed is a holistic community approach. Wade’s plan is a piece of the puzzle, including new police classes. Newly elected City Council member Dr. Michele Grim suggests a public health approach, and that also has merit.
What is missing is a true community-based coalition to stop the violence. The City can only do so much. Community organizations, churches, and schools must be involved. Ongoing neighborhood conversations must be started. Organizations that address mental health and domestic violence must be tasked with solutions.
And someone must do the hard and time-consuming work to bring this all together.
Carty, we’re looking at you.
After a long and eventful life, perhaps this can be your ultimate legacy for your hometown. Putting out the fire.
There’s no time to lose.
And from all of us here at City Politics to you and yours, here’s to a happy, healthy, and most of all, safe holiday season!