Monday, September 12, 2005

Letter to Carmel

Carmel Tebbutt, the Labor Candidate for Marrickville, left us a card under our door yesterday when she came around to talk to residents about this Saturday's By-election. Unfortunately my girlfriend and I missed our opportunity to let Carmel know our opinions so I wrote her a letter. I should note that referring to "home ownership", "local business involvement" and "community participation" is strategic to add political weight to the letter and does not reflect a notion of citizenship that I hold and judge others by.

Dear Carmel,

As I missed your visit to my house yesterday, I would like to give you
some feedback about my vote this Saturday. I have been living in the
inner west for over 10 years. As a long term resident and now
homeowner of this area, I am committed to maintaining and developing
this diverse and vibrant community. In addition to having been
involved in a range of community activities, I started and ran my own
IT business in the innerwest which employed over a dozen people. I now
own my own house in Newtown with my partner and we are active members
of the community and know many local residents.

I will not be voting for you Carmel and I would like you know my
reasons. Furthermore, I have urged all voters in the Marrickville
electorate that I know to consider your poor record on being "Caring
and Committed" before giving their vote to you.

The main reason I will not be voting for you is because you let all
Australian gays and lesbians down when, as current Minister of
Education and Training Minister, you banned an education resource as
part of a sex education program that promoted tolerance to gays and
lesbians after "The Daily Telegraph" published a story of one parent
complaining to the school about the program. Your reaction was to ban
the material and claimed "it was inappropriate."

You have made it clear by your actions that your policies, ostensibly
promoting a government that is "Caring & Committed", does not extend
to promoting social tolerance and understanding to gays and lesbians.
Far from reducing the level of homophobia in our society, your actions
have reinforced it. The Inner west deserves to be represented by a
leader who is prepared to stand up and be proud of the contributions
of its gay and lesbian constituents.

I have been a long term supporter of Labor in the local area but for
this reason I will not be giving Labor my vote in the upcoming


Mac said...

w00t! Great letter, Ms M! Good on ya.

Ms M said...

Ta Mac. I do get worked up about local issues. I'm also campaigning to save a tree on our street from being cut down. It is perfectly healthy but the council has been concerned about liability since it is a type of tree that they are no longer planting and is "slightly" more likely to drop branches than other types of trees (not that any branches have dropped). It is a beautiful, majestic and towering gum tree that supports considerable bird and other wild life. I guess it is the immediacy of the local that gives it its power (I walk past this tree daily) and I feel I have more chance to shape local events through participation. It makes an interesting question since on the one hand the Internet makes distance less of an obstacle but geography seems to still play quite a big role in how and in what capacity people will become involved in social action.