I like His Worship (just call me Doug) Craig. He told me recently he plans on running for “one more term in 2010” and I’m glad. Among other things, I know that as long as he’s in office there’s little chance of Cambridge having amalgamation shoved down its throat.
I came to know Craig after I wrote an article about him several years ago. He didn’t like what I had to say and he contacted me. He asked that I call him in the future and get his side, something I have since done several times.
I also run into him at a lot of public events and he’s always willing to take a few minutes to chat. We don’t always agree but he respects my opinions — which I have lots of.
Craig is down to earth and unpretentious. He usually answers his own phone, and I know his detractors will scream at me about the location of the new city hall, but to you I say: Where should it have gone? On Hespeler Road next to a strip club or a fast food restaurant? I like the location. I think it will draw more people downtown. It will increase traffic to both the Cambridge Farmer’s Market and the Cambridge Archives in the historic city hall.
I like what Craig has done for the arts. I grew up here in the 1970s and there was nothing for local artists. Craig, a writer, understands what a little recognition means to an artist.
I like how Craig interacts with the community. Craig has started the Mayor’s Walk for Volunteerism, Mayor’s Movie Night, and the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts.
He has been instrumental in core revitalization. He brought the University of Waterloo School of Architecture to the Galt core, which will be part of the legacy he leaves.
I like that Craig wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He has told me stories of how his family lived in one room in a rooming house, with two other families living in the other two rooms. He told me how one Christmas he asked his grandmother if they were going to get a tree and she pointed to a tasselled lamp and said, “There’s our tree.”
Craig also told me that he spent several years in foster care. Craig has good reason to be conscious of social issues.
Most of all, I like the way Craig has been fierce in defending Cambridge’s interests in the face of amalgamation talks. He has stood up to the so-called Citizens For Better Government and told them in no uncertain terms that Cambridge wants to remain autonomous. Cambridge lost enough when we went regional, and Craig wants to take some of that back.
I am the fifth generation of my family born in Galt. My great-grandfather sat on council in 1915. I consider it my filial duty to do what I can to preserve the history and heritage of Cambridge, and I’m terrified that if we get swallowed up by Kitchener and Waterloo we’ll become a footnote in their history.
I know that as long as Craig’s in office he won’t back down, and I’m glad he decided to run again.
Scot Ferguson of Cambridge is a freelance journalist