Cannon Running for City Council

Democrat Brevy Cannon has announced his candidacy for City Council, Graham Moomaw writes in the Progress. The 36-year-old UVA employee and volunteer firefighter is the sixth Democrat to enter the race for three nominations. He moved here in 1997 to attend UVA. In his announcement speech, Cannon promoted the need for job creation—specifically biotech—improving the Rivanna Trail, and made an unusual proposal to replace the Belmont Bridge as planned, but leave one longitudinal half of the existing structure standing as a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

Democrats will nominate their candidates on August 20.

16 thoughts on “Cannon Running for City Council”

  1. By way of disclaimer, Brevy is a friend with whom I served on the board of Left of Center, a group of local Democrats. I was one of many people who advised him on his potential candidacy some months ago, and I intend to contribute money to his campaign.

  2. I find it fascinating that so many people are running for the party’s nomination. It will be interesting to find out their differences.

  3. He seems like a nice fellow with some good progressive ideas. I look forward to finding out more about his candidacy and ideas. I like his commitment to our natural environment. He tended to focus on narrow ideas in his announcement speech.

    He will face a few of big hurdles though. First, he works for UVA as an mid level administrator. What if a major issue involving a conflict with the City and UVA comes up. Where will his loyalties be then?, where do his paychecks come from? and, they tend to control their minions over there. If he were a tenured faculty, it wouldn’t be an issue, but being a mid-level administrator might leave him in a compromising position with conflicts of interest.

    Second, he works as a PR/Media relations person for a major institution. To be frank, media people get paid to spin a “truth” rather than tell the truth. I am not questioning his personal integrity (he seems like an nice, sincere guy), but obfuscation is perhaps an occupational hazard, they all do it not just him personally.

    Third, he seems inexperienced when it comes to public service. I don’t see any record of elected positions. Many of the other candidates have such records of service. He seems to have done some good things with Rivanna trail and vol. fire dept. but I am not seeing that record of public service yet. Perhaps next go-around. I don’t see the depth of experience and connection with his highlighted campaign issues.

    Last, the web of connections. Norris and Lynch show up to his announcement and Dede Smith’s and Collette Blount’s. Smith & Cannon show up to Collette Blount’s. Was he at Smith’s too? Its all getting kinda tickety looking and I wonder how much of that is preorchestrated?

    I look forward to hearing more and seeing how he develops as the campaign moves

  4. Third, he seems inexperienced when it comes to public service. I don’t see any record of elected positions.

    FWIW, I think City Council is a perfectly reasonable first-time seat. Once you get to the level of state senate, I think that’s a point where I expect somebody to have served in some lower office. Obviously, intelligent minds may disagree on this. :)

  5. And remember Emily Couric had never held elected office, only an appointment to the school board, before she became a state senator.

    From what I’ve heard and read so far, he appears to be a very smart guy with good leadership skills. I look forward to learning more. Just look at the skill set of the present councilors none of whom, to my knowledge, held an elected office before serving on Council.

    I have heard some wonder about electing former city staff to council, Huja and formerly Taileferro.
    It is important to make sure Cannon will not be beholden to UVA, but on the other hand his connection could prove to be an advantage.
    I have never thought UVA was sufficiently engaged in many issues that challenge the city, and perhaps Mr. Cannon could help change this.

  6. I like the idea of someone running for council to have served on the school board (with a good record, not a controversial one if you get my drift) or some other significant City board. It just seems to give them an edge in the practice of policy and politics.

    As for UVA connection I think UVA has been significantly engaged in city issues but not always in a positive way. Again, if he were a tenured faculty member like Maurice Cox was, I would feel better about it all. My minds still open on Cannon though.

  7. Being a volunteer fireman is public service. To my knowledge Tom Perriello never had elective office and we sent him to Congress and thousands of p0eople were pleased with his performance.

  8. @Cville Eye: Yeah but vol. fireman compared to:

    (Wikipedia) From 2002-03, Perriello was Special Advisor to the international prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, where he worked with child soldiers, amputees, and local pro-democracy groups, and helped to prosecute warlords.[3] He later became the Court’s Spokesman and helped to indict Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, peacefully forcing him from power. He has worked as a consultant to the International Center for Transitional Justice in Kosovo (2003), Darfur (2005), and Afghanistan (2007) where he worked on justice-based security strategies.[1] Perriello has also been a fellow at The Century Foundation and consultant to the National Council of Churches of Christ. He helped to launch, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and is a co-founder of and, an international on-line community of 3.3 million members, operating in 12 languages, dedicated to building a global response to “problems without borders” such as climate change.

    I am not speaking of only elected positions (although I still think if you have that it outs you ahead of the pack), its about depth and types of previous service. Canon has done some nice service, just wondering if its a bit early to be seeking Council position, when there are others running with some more substantial experience.

  9. @truthtopower, I did not read anything you said about Perriello’s prior experience that would help him with governance.

  10. @Cville Eye:

    Because his service wasn’t to “the homeland” as you see it?

  11. Cville Eye: Seriously you don’t see a difference between Perriello’s preparation for elected office and Cannons? It has to do with depth. How about Blount or Galvin’s work on the elected school board, don’t they have more political experience than Cannon? Does that not make them slightly more qualified for Council?

    I certainly admire your devotion to Cannon but come on. I will give you this I would vote for Cannon before I voted for Smith any day. Her record on the appointed school board was not very good. if given thas choice I would go with Cannon and hope for the best.

  12. @Walt R, it has nothing to do with the “homeland.” My point is that being a public servant does not necessarily mean you can govern. However, public service may give you more knowledge than somebody who has been elected. The elected person should then gain from the public servant’s knowledge. I used Perriello as an example of somebody who was elected to Congress without prior experience in governance and gained the approval of a large number of his constituents. My comment to you was to say that I do not see where his prior experience as a public servant does not say to me that he would govern better than someone without.
    @truthtopower, Perriello’s public service did not prepare him to govern. I have no devotion to Cannon and currently have no plans to vote for him even if he is nominated.I haven’t learned enough about him to develop a devotion. I used Perriello as an example of someone without prior governing experience that many people would say he did a good job. Galvin and Blount have demonstrated evidence of qualifications for effective governance and they have deomnstrated electability. That still does not mean that I will not consider Cannon and his platform once I determine what is really is.

  13. @Cville Eye I do think the depth of Periello’s service prior to election did have an influence on his electability and ability to govern. I am with you on looking more at Cannon’s platform before deciding. My earlier comment was just a concern about his record of service and its depth at this point. He’s done some good things for the community no doubt, he just doesn’t look like he has quite the right depth of experience yet. I still have my other concerns about his rel. to UVA and the nature of his job though. For me they will be factors as well as his platform. Sorry if I characterized you as a devotee, wrong impression.

  14. @truthtopower, it’s fine to have impressions because they can help in finding a road to discovery, however, I try not to pronounce my impressions as fact.
    I also believe that it is good so have some kind of criteria by which to judge a candidate qualifications to hold public office that involves a great deal of decision-making other than “I like him.” “He’s a friend of mine.” “She’s hot and seems to be a good mom and devoted wife.” “He has children in public schools and seems to be a nice person.” “Her husband left her so she knows what I’m going through.” “He’s a truck driver so he’ll look out for the little guy.”
    About Cannon, you said “Third, he seems inexperienced when it comes to public service.” To me working for UVA is just as much public service as working for the uN or serving as a Christian or being a student of public issues or setting up a web site on climate change for special interest groups.

  15. Cville Eye I have to disagree about the public service. Working for UVA is no where near working for the UN. UVA is like a private school and more and more act like a private commercial concern. They have a not so stellar record with regards to neighborhoods in our community, living wage issues, among other problems even with a billion dollar endowment and a bevy of high priced attorneys to protect their interests. Yes, Charlottesville would be a very different place without the University but that does not give license to act like Goliath.

    In fact as I said earlier I think a candidate’s job is a factor in my calculus on voting. PR people are spin doctors. Large institutions hire them to get their way and basically obfuscate. So one of my criteria for a candidate for election is that they are likely to speak the truth and be trustworthy. A candidate’s employment is a factor for me. Personally, I don’t support wealthy corporate types like Mark Warner running for office either. I would have as much problem voting for his mouthpiece if his PR person ran for office. I want people in office who are independent minded and not tied to large institutions.

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