I have worked alongside [Chatham County Commissioner District 2 candidate] Jeffrey Starkweather the past four years to help change the political landscape in Chatham County. I know him well; we've been in the trenches together, and I do not recognize the caricature of him that appeared in your political endorsement analysis ("Indy endorsements 2008," cover story, April 23).
Starkweather co-founded the grassroots political action committee, the Chatham Coalition, and has worked tirelessly on behalf of Chatham citizens to make our government more responsive to citizens.
No other person I have ever known is as passionate about citizen participation as Starkweather. That's the foundation of the Coalition's platform; it may not be as efficient as unilateral decision-making without citizen input, but it's clearly more democratic and better for the community.
No other community leader has had such a positive impact on Chatham's politics as Starkweather, and to do that, he has had to reach across political, cultural, racial and geographic lines in a way that perhaps no one else in Chatham has ever done before. Along the way, he may have ruffled a few feathers, but it's his fearlessness in the face of entrenched interests that has made him so effective on behalf of the wider community and is what is needed on the board at this critical time.
I wish the Indy had consulted more sources who have witnessed firsthand Starkweather's incredible passion for good government.
The writer is a candidate for Chatham County Commissioner in District 1.