It’s Contagious

A year and a half ago, we identified a disease we now know as Gary Rosen Disorder.

The disorder manifests itself in the following ways:

  • The subject serves in a position of some prominence and does quite little with the power he has.
  • The subject leaves that position.
  • The subject then writes column after column taking back votes he made when he was in that position of power.

(Incidentally, Gary Rosen Disorder can eventually progress into full-blown Jordan Levy Syndrome.  The progression from Rosen Disorder to Levy Syndrome is most evident when you go from handing out plastic combs on a street corner to being a blowhard on the public airwaves.)

Gary Rosen, as evidenced by his latest column in Worcester Mag, is still in the intermediary stages of progression.

His latest cry is for the city to change its charter to a strong mayor form of government.

There are three basic ways to push for charter change.  The first, and most arduous, is to gather signatures of 15% of the city’s registered voters (over 13,000 people) to ask for a charter commission.  The second would be for two-thirds of the City Council to vote for amendments to the existing charter.  The third would be for the City Council to ask the state legislature for the creation of a charter commission.

Note that the two of the three paths could happen through the City Council.

If Mr. Rosen believes so strongly in repenting of past mistakes and pushing for charter change, then perhaps he can stand at busy intersections with a petition to that effect rather than his signature combs.

Another fellow Rosen disorder sufferer is Ravi Perry, formerly head of the Worcester NAACP, who seems more than willing to call people out for not doing enough to promote diversity in the city while conveniently forgetting that he was in a position to do just that.

In a recent column in FourLoco, he wrote, “to have a city council that never had two members of color serve simultaneously is simply another sad case of affairs. To have a charter with a neighborhood council provision with no authority and subsequently, no representation in government, is just – sad.”

Actually, what’s sad is that Mr. Perry — in his position as the head of the Worcester NAACP, or as a private citizen — could have worked towards having more people of color run for office, or could have begun work on the first neighborhood council, or could have encouraged the city to reach out to different communities to ensure representation on boards and commissions.

Instead we have another case of someone who could have done something when he was in a position to do something, but now feels like his do-nothing-ness has given him the right to complain about problems that he could have helped fix.

You want something to change in this city?

Get to it.

It’s ok to start with small, manageable goals, and it’s ok to acknowledge that you can’t do it all by yourself.  It’s ok to ask for help.

But I am getting more than tired of folks doing nothing and then telling me how much better the city would be if only everyone would listen to them.

Don’t talk, just do, indeed.

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