A few moments ago, Jason Roberts tweeted: "Exploring a run for Congress. With redistricting up in the air, it's going to be an incredibly short campaign for the primary." As long as we've been covering his doings, I've never known the Better Block-er to be ... silly, let's say. Nevertheless, I called with a simple, professional question: "Are you effing serious?"
Yes, he said. Absolutely. Emphasis, though, on the "exploring" part. For now.
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"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with redistricting going the way it is," he says. "It'll be a short campaign, and, if nothing else, it'll be a great chance to bring the things we've been focusing on -- urban revitalization, multiimodalism, repairing communities block by block -- to a larger stage."
We talked for a long while, and the longer we talked, the more excited and animated he became. He said, over and over, "It's too great an opportunity to pass up." Right now, though, he's just testing the waters. Feeling it out. Exploring.
"It all comes down to economic development," says Roberts, who, of course, would be running in the Democratic primary. "It's about: How do you thrive in our current environment? And over the course of our projects, we found a model for doing that. Getting the opportunity to present that at the national level and fight for it is really exciting. And how many people from the creative class are out there at the federal level championing these ideas? There might be a handful, and it's frustrating not to see people from my generation throwing their hat in there. Even if you don't win, you can elevate the conversation." Pause.
"Is that political enough?"