Alderman in St. Louis can be a funny job in that there isn’t much of job description. It’s a mix legislating, research, reading, informing, listening, planning, helping people, delivering bad news, figuring things out, and dealing with the constant churn of political frustrations and disappointments. Political views are important, but so are a candidate’s personal traits and characteristics. You only learn by learning on the job. I’ll be voting for Bret Narayan because he brings the right mix of knowledge, experience, and commitment, in addition to a record of treating people with kindness and respect.
Bret has already been engaged in some statewide political efforts, and he’s been an active member in leadership of a neighborhood organization, which is where I met him. As an attorney, his knowledge of the law, and how people interact with the civil and criminal justice systems will serve residents well. While there is always something new to learn in local government, Bret will hit the ground running from day one.
He’s handled his campaign well and showed the organizational skills required to do an effective job for residents. He’s displayed a commitment to professional and personal ethics that make him a trustworthy candidate. He is an outgoing, approachable person who residents will be able to count on to treat them fairly, even if they have political or ideological differences.
I’m not endorsing him because I think he’ll always make all the same decisions I would make, but because I trust his process to do his own research and arrive at his own conclusions. He’ll be an independent thinker capable of making his own way at City Hall.
We happen to live in a moment when small political differences, even among friends, can quickly escalate into unkind words and accusations. There is a particular claustrophobic element to this in local politics. You know your critics. You see them at the grocery store. Their kids are in school with your kids. You see what they’ve posted about you. Even in the last few years the landscape has changed, and I see many officeholders privately struggle with this, as I sometimes did. So I’ll close with something Bret wrote last year in remembrance of his father, because taking this to heart will serve him, and the rest of us well:
“He taught me that being kind will typically take you much further than being hostile, even when you have fundamental disagreements with someone.”
Join me in voting for Bret Narayan for 24th Ward Alderman on Tuesday, March 5th.