Wonk This Way With Larry
“Littlefield is a policy wonk.” That is how Erik Engquist, then a Brooklyn Politics columnist, described me when I ran as a minor party protest candidate for state assembly in 2004. While I may consider myself more of a moral philosopher, you will probably want to read posts based on my knowledge of comparative public finance, land use planning, regional economics and transportation. I will try to limit myself to pointing out things that I know that perhaps you don’t, but probably should, and to avoid topics where the reader knows more than I do.
I ran for office after years of mounting disappointment with public policy at the state level in New York, and increasing frustration that when I went to cast a vote for legislative offices, there was generally only one name on the ballot – or perhaps a second name of someone who didn’t even bother to campaign. Eventually just complaining and saying “someone should do something about this” seemed lazy and dishonest. The last straw was when my Assemblymember came to my neighborhood for a nonsense PR public meeting, I asked him if he could vote “no” if the next state budget continued contain certain very objectionable (possibly even to him) priorities, and (while not directly answering the question) he pretty much indicated that he could not. So I did my civic duty, and having done so (“sorry about the collapse of public services and the bankruptcy of the government kids, but Dad did all he could”), I can go back to complaining.
If you want to find out why I ran and what I believe, click here: http://www.ipny.org/littlefield/civicunion2020.html. To understand some of the specific state policies and non-decisions I object to, read this: http://www.ipny.org/littlefield/policies.html.
Having tried to change the policies (and, more importantly, the principles or lack thereof behind those policies) every other way I could come up with (in bureaucracy, through an academic report, through letters to the editor, providing data to advocacy groups and journalists, and running as a candidate), I will now try a blog. Any information I have is free to all. I am not a lobbyist, paid political consultant, public employee (having been paroled after 20 years in government), or an employee of an organization that receives public funding or relies on public contracts. Nor am I a Democrat or Republican – for specific reasons in each case, which you can understand if you read the documents above. I will post as work, family, and other commitments allow.