Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Voting on my mind

The 6-1 vote of the California Supreme Court revealed yesterday disappointed me and yet did not surprise me. I can see the judicial reasoning and I can also understand and share the sorrow of those for whom the decision was a great disappointment. Impartiality is not easy to take, sometimes, when it is a matter close to our hearts and when it affects human lives in negative ways.

Another vote is also on my mind, for I recently received my ballot for the election of our UUA president at this General Assembly. I'm not able to go to Salt Lake City for the meeting, but I can vote absentee. Ministers who serve a congregation at least half-time are given suffrage and I am taking advantage of that opportunity. I sent off my ballot a few days ago.

Here was my dilemma: I know both candidates, have spent time with them professionally and socially, have high regard for both, am personally grateful to each of them for services they have rendered my own friends and family members.

Laurel buried my much-loved brother-in-law Everett Gilmore, when he died a few years ago; Ev was a longtime member of First Dallas and had a strong relationship with that congregation and with Laurel. Peter brought Jefferson Unitarian Church from a plateau of 350 members to its current size of nearly 700 and has been minister to longtime friends since his arrival at JUC.

I expect that my JUC friends would assume that I'd vote for Peter. But I didn't; I have voted for Laurel Hallman for UUA president, considering her the steadier hand at the wheel, recognizing her long tenure as a UU minister and layperson, seeing her leadership as better-proven.

Though Peter has much to commend him as a candidate, I don't think he has what I'm looking for in a UUA president: greater maturity as a minister and layperson, a broad range of ideas for maintaining our social witness, and for taking Unitarian Universalism into the future.

Laurel Hallman has these qualities, I believe, and therefore my vote has been cast for her.

11 comments:

Joel Monka said...

Good post- easy for me to say, since I share your views. I do regret not meeting with you at Salt Lake.

LinguistFriend said...

Your comments on the UUA election are convincing to me, although I have less personal information to base a choice on, and damn it (here is where CC customarily scolds me: "Bad Universalist!"), I won't be in Salt Lake City either.

ms. kitty said...

I'll miss you too, Joel. Tip at least one for me at the bloggers' dinner/meeting/whatever.

The Eclectic Cleric said...

Nicely put Kitty -- and I could not agree more strongly. Laurel was changing the face of our movement (through her "Living By Heart" -- perhaps the single most important catalyst to the renewal of interest in all things spiritual in UUism) when Peter was still trying to figure out the parking in Eugene. I'm certain he's quite inspiring and I love the things he says, but Laurel has been there again and again and again for three decades now -- she's a proven spiritual leader who understands the depths of our movement, and not just the most recent trend. Knowing (at least statistically) that I probably won't be around to see the conclusion of this next President's term certainly colors my attitude as well. Your unique position of knowing both candidates so well likewise makes your opinion all the more valuable. Thanks for going public. Hope to see you this summer.

Tim

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, LF and Tim. Tim, I do hope you'll get up here to Whidbey sometime this summer!

Robin Edgar said...

What do you think of my suggestion that Rev. Peter Morales could potentially replace Kay Montgomery as the Executive Vice President of the UUA if he does not win the election Ms. Kitty? Do you think that he would be suitable for that position?

ms. kitty said...

That's an interesting suggestion, Robin, but I think Peter would prefer to stay at JUC, rather than take on another job at the UUA. He is much loved at JUC and loves Colorado.

Robin Edgar said...

Thanks for your response Ms. Kitty. In light of recent controversy about whether or not Rev. Morales would move to Boston if elected UUA president you may well be right in that assessment. Still it seems that he might be well suited to be COO of the UUA.

ms. kitty said...

Peter has lots of strengths and being COO might suit him well, but I doubt he'd take the job. Just a guess, though.

Robin Edgar said...

Well all this is hypothetical since Rev. Morales will be the next President of the UUA if his campaign is successful but I think that he should be at least offered that job if he is not elected as President.

Kari said...

Thanks for sharing your reasons for voting for Hallman. Interesting. And I'm glad you took advantage of your right to vote.