An Editorial: For Mayor, Ed Shadid
After 13 years with the current mayor in office (ten as mayor, three on the Council), it is time for a fresh voice and a stronger focus on the broader needs and issues for all Oklahoma City residents.
For the first time in The City Sentinel’s history, we formally endorse a candidate for public office. The newspaper supports Dr. Ed Shadid, the Ward 2 council member, in the Tuesday, March 4 election.
This endorsement is an expression of support for the challenger, not a slap at the incumbent.
Shadid aims to establish a more inclusive government. He has spoken to hundreds of groups and thousands of local residents — some of whom say their input in city matters has rarely or never been solicited.
Many to whom Shadid has spoken have long felt disenfranchised from city government. Ours is not just a downtown city; its entire 640 square miles still has a long way to go, he says. And, he is right.
Dr. Shadid says his administration and goals would more closely represent the varied tapestry of Oklahoma City. His demeanor, personal humility and servant leader approach have touched many who have met him in recent months. He has eschewed corporate and special interest contributions and made it clear he seeks only individual support.
He faced personal struggles a decade ago. His life has long been informed by the message of Jesus Christ, yet he affirms that dialogue with those of different views is a social good. Those who sneer at his outreach to people of varied faiths, or of no faith, would miss the opportunity that comes from bringing everyone of good will to the table in a vibrant and growing city.
Dr. Shadid has already left behind a highly successful surgical practice to fully devote himself to public service. He does intend to retain some previously-established medical care to Oklahomans who have served in the military.
Shadid has been vocal about numerous under-addressed priorities. He promises greater attention to neighborhoods, investment in more fire protection and public safety, expanded drug/alcohol recovery options, and beautifying/updating outdoor areas all across town.
Long stigmatized and shamed, drug addicts and alcoholics turn to desperate, even criminal behavior, jeopardizing our community’s safety. To battle that, Dr. Shadid supports a more proactive public sector approach by supporting numerous, accessible, recovery avenues.
In this, he brings practical compassion to one of the great social issues of our time. On the flip side, his scrutiny of public spending is the most intense and serious of all city officials. His social conscience includes a fiscal conservative’s care for taxpayer resources.
The physician emphasizes that his focus on neighborhoods is inspired by improving personal health and happiness. Creating more appealing outdoor areas would draw more people to them for physical activity, recreation, exercise and community. Modern science documents that such opportunities in turn lead to greater personal happiness and health
Both firefighters and police unions have publicly proclaimed their support for Shadid.
He does not oppose the Metropolitan Area Projects (MAPS 3) currently underway, but wants to give voters a chance to revisit final stages of this historic three-quarters-of-a-billion dollar, tax-financed program. This includes an envisioned convention facility improvement – and, perhaps as importantly, a possible headquarters hotel project.
Shadid would support a MAPS for neighborhoods initiative, if that is what it takes to expedite more whole-city improvement.
Electing Ed Shadid as mayor would benefit our entire community.