By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Sierra Club Cimarron Group recently hosted a fundraiser for mayoral candidate, City Councilman, Dr. Ed Shadid. The event was held in the midtown home of Sierra Club leaders Susie and Mark Derichsweiler.
Mark said, “The Sierra Club has endorsed Ed Shadid for Mayor because of his sustainable vision for the future of the City. We’re going to do everything we can to get him elected in March.”
Shadid’s environmental concerns, support for public transportation, placemaking in neighborhoods, providing sidewalks to make a more walkable, healthy city, fit well with the views of the Sierra Club.
“It would be so great to have someone with Ed’s outlook as Oklahoma City Mayor.” Mark added. “For example, Ed has been one of the main proponents of the Urban Agricultural Ordinance that’s coming up for a vote on New Year’s Eve.”
The ordinance allows for permitting home gardens, hoop houses, roof gardens, greenhouses and rainwater harvesting in all parts of the City. It also allows chickens on lots less than one acre.
Shadid emphasized the need for Oklahomans to focus on city elections.
“Not just because they are the ones that make decisions that affect our day to day lives the most, but because they are winnable,” Shadid said. “It’s sad, but traditionally the turnout has been so low that the mayor only got 14,000 votes four years ago.”
Shadid told Sierra Club members why he felt the mayoral race is important.
“The mayor makes hundreds of appointments to 75 different boards, trusts and commissions. Out of the 700 people appointed, there are 7 Latinos, 13 African Americans, about 20 percent women, very few people from the south side. There is little diversity of political thought,” he said. “Entire communities are disenfranchised”
According to a federal survey, Oklahoma’s rate of prescription painkiller abuse is the highest in the nation.
“When we ask why we are in the top 10 cities for violent crime and property crime in America, we have to ask why are crimes occurring and is addiction part of that,” Shadid said.
“There are 25 million people in long term recovery in America. You can’t incarcerate your way out of the problem. You have to invest in rehabilitation. To profit off the incarceration of human beings is immoral and fiscally irresponsible.”
Public transportation is also a major focus of Shadid’s campaign. “To not have public transportation on evenings and weekends is depriving the 100,000 people whose health or economic condition doesn’t allow then to drive,” he said.
Mark Derichsweller added, “Sierra Club is a volunteer organization and the strength that we bring to campaigns like this is getting people activated to make phone calls, knock on doors, deliver literature, put up signs and do all those things that need to be done in a campaign.”
Shadid feels his campaign is changing the face of this election.
“We’re now talking about public safety and neighborhoods and things we haven’t gotten to talk about before only because we’re having a well contested election and that’s just so healthy for the city,” he said.
For more information, visit www.edshadid.com.