A Day When Hope and History Rhyme

Two speeches last night, the Obama acceptance speech and the McCain concession speech, surely give us all a new and deserved reason for feeling very good about our nation, and feed our hopes to turn the page on history, a period that we do not want to revisit and must change.  We received the type of conclusion to this often savage election that we so desired.

On the local front, the BART measure is teasingly, heartbreakingly close to success—and many are on pins and needles waiting for the final tally. It was a leap of faith, a vote for the future, but it carried the heavy burden of VTA maladroitness and voter skepticism of any new tax. This may have been too high a bar to surmount. Whatever the result, it will be a blueprint for how our valley evolves in the next 50 years.

The seismic safety measure for our Valley Medical Center, Measure A, is having a resounding and necessary victory. This is good news for our community.

The local San Jose measures, J and K, seem to be passing with extremely high numbers. This once again assures me of the good sense and sound judgment of the people of San Jose. Without these resources, our basic services could be extremely at risk. Now, they will only be greatly stretched.

On the candidate front, I was very heartened to see Dave Cortese rewarded for the long and diligent service that he and so many in his family have contributed for many years. He will do well on the Board of Supervisors.

There are many other races, but these are the ones that most arrest my attention on a late election night. This is a time when we can honestly and confidently look to the future of our nation and our valley with a new hope and optimism and say in the words of the poet, Seamus Heaney, that here is a time when “hope and history rhyme.”


  1. Tom,
    I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who ran for an office, or worked on a campaign. Christian and I went to several campaign celebrations last night, and one of the things I noticed was how tired everyone was, despite their victories. As you know from personal experience, running for office, and volunteering on campaigns is very hard work. I have great respect for people who run because they are held to some very tough standards and their every move is scrutinized by the press. I want to thank them for their willingness to serve us and I wish them the best. I want to thank the volunteers too because without their hard work and dedication, these candidates would be lost.

  2. #1-Nam Turk- I agree.

    Tom –

    I agree with regard to President-Elect Obama.  The sense of hope he brings to this nation at a time when there is so much to dispair is similar to the feeling former President’s Clinton and Kennedy brought to this nation.  I was proud to see this nation elect it’s first African-American President.  I was also proud to see the younger generation come out and exercise their right to vote in record numbers.  Gives me hope for the future.

    I agree that Supervisor-Elect Dave Cortese will do well on the Board.  He is thoughtful, thorough, and cares for the people he represents.  Similarly, I am glad to see George Shirakawa elected to the Board of Supervisors.  George has a big heart, has the ability to see to the heart of an issue, and will work tirelessly for those he represents.

    It was good to see Rose Herrera win. She too is a good lady with a big heart. I think she’ll do a great job.

    I was not happy to see Proposition 8 win, and in that regard, agree with Nam Turk.  All-in-all, though, it was a good night for our City, our County, and our nation.

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