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Joe Bialek

  1. Sep 30, 2004 #1
    Permit me to introduce myself. My name is Joe Bialek and I was born on September 12, 1963 just 40 days before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. My family was originally from Cleveland, Ohio. It is the city of my current residence. I attended Padua High School in Parma, Ohio and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration at the University of Akron. In 1993, I moved back to Cleveland and resided in my grandfather's house located in the neighborhood known as Slavic Village. This is where my grandfather immigrated from Poland and the house where my father was born. I then ran for city council against the incumbent who was elected in 1985. After work each day I would walk to each of the 9,000 registered households from April to August and seemed to make a positive impression among the voters. However two other candidates entered the race and I finished last. The strange thing about the results, however, was the disparity between the absentee ballots and the card-punched ballots. According to the absentee ballots, I lost by a 2-to-1 margin to the incumbent but won by a 16-to-1 margin over the other two candidates. But according to the card-punched ballots, I finished last by just 4 votes. I was so exhausted by the campaign that a recount was the furthest from my mind. In the general election, the incumbent retained his seat.

    Shortly after the election, I was elected President of South East Clevelanders Together. The purpose of this non-profit group was to organize each of the twelve sub-neighborhoods located within Slavic Village (Ward 12) to address quality of life issues in an aggressive and systematic manner. Needless to say, it did not take long for our group to clash with the Councilman's housing group. Their primary objective was to build and rehabilitate housing without any real regard for the other issues affecting the residents and business owners. The councilman's father owns a large real estate company so I'll let you draw your own conclusion. Our funding was cut off from the City of Cleveland and efforts to raise money through foundations were sabotaged. Inevitably I was forced to use my own money to sustain the efforts of the organization. In spite of all the resistance, however, we were very successfull in organizing block clubs and civic associations as well as bringing pressure to provide solutions to the problems plaguing the community. All during this time, the councilman attempted to spin my intentions as simply an effort to prepare for a second council run. I did not run again in 1997 because I felt it would be more beneficial for the community if SECT continued to push for action rather than allow the entrenched councilman to ignore issues while his housing group pushed rehabilitations and new construction.

    In 1999, I moved to the Old Brooklyn neighborhood of the city of Cleveland. I decided to withdraw from public life and shift my focus to reading philosophy, economics, sociology, religion, psychology and political theory. I also committed to writing a editorial piece once per month hence the reason for my monthly email and message board postings. I do this out of altruism and receive no compensation what so ever. My sole objective is to offer suggestions on how we may fine tune America and stear the United States in a positive direction. I know I've been guilty of posting to message boards and not returning to join in the discussion. But I have read most responses. Accordingly, I hereby commit to returning no sooner or later than 24 hours after my post to answer counter arguments. I'll only respond to intellectual contributions not insults or statements from those who treat message boards like their little fiefdoms. For those of you who would like to contact me, you may reach me at the email address listed below. Thanks and let us continue to "fine tune America".

    Joe Bialek
    Cleveland, Ohio
    jgbialek@adelphia.net
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2004 #2
    I believe one fine adjustment America could use would be more open politics. Forcing politicians to give more press conferences, answer more real questions from people (not questions from pre-selected supporters or reporters who won't ask any tough questions), and have a media that will hold Politicians to their promises and not let them say one thing and do another the way all Politicians seem to work now.

    In short, we need more honesty in politics.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2004 #3
    response

    agreed, we need more accountability from politicians
     
  5. Oct 1, 2004 #4
    Given that only around 36% of the population votes in local congressional elections, and usually 90% of the time the incumbent wins with at least 60% of the vote, congressional elections can be extremely frustrating at times (Wilson, American Government). The incumbent can also dodge responsibility by saying that they aren't part of the "mess in Washington" and continue to restate their track record (in this case it is his "rehabilitation" program).

    This is one of the things I do not like about politics. More emphasis is put on popularity and image rather than what really needs to be done to help out the community and its citizens.

    Like the old adage, there seems to be very few honest politicians anymore.
     
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