In our town, which is one of three towns covered by the state house district for which Primo is running, there is an issue that affects a few square blocks. Now, these blocks are our neighborhood and the issue in principle is an important one that in principle matters to a lot of people, but it is not something that the state legislature decides except to the extent that they could change the law about how cities handle things.
This issue is development. More specifically, it is zoning variances to build huge ugly apartment buildings in neighborhoods full of single-family houses. As in, a zoning variance to build a 66-unit apartment building in the space where nine single-family homes would fit.
The argument that the architect has used is that high-density housing increases the value of the homes around it, which is bullshit as far as I am concerned, and that we are racist for not wanting high density apartments a block from our house and next to an elementary school.
But that's not why I called!
So - there is this issue that affects our neighborhood. There is this proposed development and there is another one two blocks over in which the apartments would at least be on a main artery but would cast shadows all day long over the neighboring homes and both would require zoning variances! What is the darn point of having a master development plan if you are going to vary all the zoning?
Primo and I have spoken out very strongly against these variances. We have attended the planning meetings at the city and we have put a sign up in our yard and have talked to people about it.
And we have moved on because we did manage to kill the project right by our house.
And now we are here.
Primo has heard that someone might be running against him in the primary. He managed to figure it out.
It's a woman who is a photographer by trade.
Once her husband, who has a mutual friend with Primo, spoke to the mutual friend and learned that Primo actually is a good guy, the woman apparently decided that her services were not needed.
But the guy who asked her to run -
Turns out it's the guy who has led (very well, I might say) the neighborhood effort against the development.
He is cranky because Primo will not put a campaign sign in our yard for the city council candidate who is more anti-development. There are two candidates for city council in our district.
Two candidates. Both against stupid development that requires zoning variances.
(Some of the argument for allowing high-density development is that there is not enough rental property in our neighborhood. Except
1. There is a ton of rental property downtown in Big City and
2. The ugly high-density apartment building they built 18 months ago has had a for-rent sign in front of it for most of the time it's been there as in if there is such demand for rental property, which aren't people renting these apartments?)
Primo likes both candidates. Both candidates are nice people. Both have ideas we agree with.
Development Guy Leader (who again, has been excellent in that role) had asked Primo to support the more anti-development candidate.
Primo said he thinks both candidates are good.
DG - in conversations with someone he did not know is Primo's good friend - said that Primo is anti-woman (the more anti-development candidate is a woman) and told Primo that he wants a candidate who is willing to take a stand on the Big Issues, even if the Big Issue is Not Something The Legislature Deals With.
As in - Primo's platform would never include LOCAL DEVELOPMENT ISSUES. Because people in the rest of the district outside OUR NEIGHBORHOOD would not care about it. And Primo could do nothing about it in the legislature.
PS Primo is not anti-woman. I live with him. I know. Rolling my eyes.