There are many times politicians say and do things that they just have no idea what visions are evoked in the general public’s mind.
At times, the actions and comments by politicians are treated with such irreverence by political cartoonist even with such serious subjects as the homeless.
On July 21, 2018, Mayor Tim Keller announced a program created by the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County to rid local parks of used needles and syringes.
The program is called S.H.A.R.P.
People who spot needles or syringes in a park are asked to call 311, 505-768-2000, or report it on the city’s app.
You can view the full story here:
On August 26, 27 and 28 the Albuquerque Journal published three front page and very lengthy news stories on the homeless that no doubt took hours to research and write.
You can read all three Albuquerque Journal articles here:
Within a week of the 3 front-page Journal stories, Mayor Keller announced the city’ plans to address the homeless.
You can read the Journal story at the below link:
On September 9, 2018, the Albuquerque Journal published on page A-12 of its editorial page a John Trevor cartoon.
The left panel shows a serious Mayor using familiar “buzz words” often used by politicians and the right panel makes political commentary and observations by two children looking down on used syringes at the feet of homeless.
The left panel of the cartoon has Mayor Keller standing behind a podium with his finger in the air as if pontificating and holding a paper saying “Homeless Plan” with Keller accurately quoted and proclaiming “We intend to move the needle on this Issue”.
The adjacent panel had two young boys walking down the street with one having a back pack as if going home from school with the boys looking down an ally way strewn with used syringe needles and the feet of two ostensibly homeless people stretched out and a grocery store cart full personal belonging including a bedroll.
The cartoon is very poignant and yet funny at the same time.
With just two separate panels, John Trevor was able to make a point without being mean spirited and hateful and was very poignant and yet funny at the same time.
With just two cartoon panels, John Trevor was able to convey the very same message as four very lengthy published stories that took hours to write and one TV news story.
I think it is likely that Mayor Keller will never use the term “We intend to move the needle on this issue” ever again especially when talking about the homeless.
Most elected officials would say they considered it an honor to be the subject of a John Trever political cartoon.
Often, the cartoons are framed so do not be surprised if the cartoon winds up on Keller’s office wall.
For more on John Trevor’s cartoons see: