Those who know me have probably heard me say “I can’t afford politics.”
That is to say, I can’t afford to express a viewpoint that polarizes my clientele. This, I acknowledge, has the potential to appear a bit cynical. But the reasoning behind my position goes much deeper than that simple interpretation.
It comes down to checks and balances.
It turns out that my own personal and professional interests are best served when a spirit of synergy and cooperation prevails in both the public and private sectors; when and where both sides of the political landscape experience successes amidst setbacks, and are willing to yield to a strategic process that delivers slow and steady results, but results nonetheless.
The net effect here is a solid public funding capacity with informed investments in social services, healthcare, education, public safety, and the arts; complemented by a thriving free market where philanthropy can leverage boldly and deliver wild ROI and community impacts.
I miss the days when compromise was the carrot we chased. Maybe I remember them so fondly that I exaggerate in my own memory their duration. So be it. I miss them anyway.
I cherish the fact that our business counts friends across the depth and breadth of the political and ideological continuum. I lament the fact that many of our friends feel they could never be friends with each other.
I was sitting in a room a couple of weeks ago with as diverse a group as you are likely to find. On top of that, this was truly a who’s who of Vancouver and Clark County. They had found common ground on a project for Bridgeview and Vancouver Housing Authority that will provide upstream solutions to breaking the cycle of poverty.
There they sat, Ds and Rs, interspersed on high ground, thoughts fixed not on political divide but on shared values and goals. It felt good to breathe that high mountain air.
We need more of it.