No matter what you may have heard, there are no magicians on the November ballot.

On August 18, Mayoral Candidate Mike Sobel posted a lot of words on his campaign’s Facebook page about homelessness. How can a mayoral candidate write so much and say so little about such an important issue in our city as homelessness?

So many words, so little substance, zero solutions.

Here’s what he said:

There are no magicians on the November ballot

Let’s spend a few minutes evaluating Commissioner Sobel’s post:

  1. Homelessness: There is so much that can be done to make the situation much better. [It’s great that so much can be done, and it would have been even better if some of the words had been used to give us specific solutions.]
  2. It will require resources and persistence, not just election cycle lip service. [Voters are interested in what specific resources will be used. Resources generally mean money – how will we fund these efforts?]
  3. I have studied the issue for years and in a nutshell it takes leadership, resources, determination and expertise to persistently address the various different types of homelessness, including veterans, mental health, short term housing, relocation, youth, families, single men, drug addiction, recovery home abandonment and adequate law enforcement. [Wow! Word count: 49. Solutions: 0.]
  4. This growing trend has been getting worse in our city for years without sufficient attention being paid. It won’t go away overnight but I will hit the ground running when I win on November 6th. [Seems like 2016 would have been a great time to hit the ground running. This November, what does “hit the ground running” mean? There are no specific plans here and it’s hard to imagine someone who’s voted against any funding items so often would suddenly agree to funding new programs.]
  5. I will come and speak anywhere I’m invited. – Michael [No doubt.]

One thing’s for sure, Commissioner Sobel certainly knows how to use words. We’d expect nothing less from a longtime attorney; words are their stock in trade. That’s great in a courtroom, but it’s unclear what words will do to solve our problems. You can’t exactly take them to the bank.

Speaking of words, Commissioner Sobel seems to have a curious habit of responding to people on his campaign Facebook page and then deleting the response. You’d think that someone with such a way with words would be proud to leave them up for everyone to see. Here’s just one example. We’ve removed the names of the posters in order to protect the authors – after all, they’re just people, like you and me, asking good questions.

There are no magicians on the November ballot

In the post below, there’s no need to delete the response from the campaign because, surprise!  As of this writing, there wasn’t one.

There are no magicians on the November ballot

Do you really want to vote for someone just because they have a way with words? I’d love to vote for someone who really could fix all our problems, but I don’t see any magicians on the ballot.

You know who I’d rather vote for?

  • Someone who’s willing to admit that these are hard problems to solve
  • Someone who’s willing to work together with others to find actual solutions
  • Someone who doesn’t believe that words alone can solve everything
  • Someone who respects me, and my vote, enough to know that I’m not falling for words without actions.