I was saddened earlier today to learn that former New York City Council member Phillip Reed had died. As council member for my old district in New York he took on an uncomfortable job, expected to represent two utterly different demographics with frequently clashing demands in a district that had been drawn, as far as I could tell, as a cynical measure in power plays and willful marginalization. In my experience he did his job with grace and with a sincere desire to find the best solution. As the New York Times profile makes evident, the all too common grinding idiocies of New York genuinely bothered him. In decades of public service, he consistently fought to not just "keep things going" but to make things better. The few times I met him I found him curious, willing to look beyond the obvious, and intelligent. He seemed unusually free of the usual politician's constant air of self-advancement, a state of affairs that I suspect hurt him considerably. I wish that I had gotten to know him better and I wish that he had been able to stay in the office that term limits shoved him out of.
Phillip Reed, thank you from all of us.