Ward 2 Councilman Ed Shadid has voted in just four city elections since 2000, a sharp contrast to the voting records of most other city council members and Mayor Mick Cornett.
Shadid, 45, is running for mayor and is expected to face Cornett, who is seeking a fourth term, in the March 4 election.
Having been raised in Oklahoma City and with deep family ties to the city, Shadid said he developed a sense that major decisions were made by a “relatively small number of people.”
He thought voting was futile, he said.
“I was wrong,” Shadid said Wednesday.
“I want people to understand that it's not futile, that they can make a difference,” he said. “We can have a city government that's more responsive to neighborhoods and the people.”
Shadid missed mayors' elections in 2004, 2006 and 2010. He missed two general obligation bond elections since 2000, a hotel/motel tax vote in 2004, and a public safety tax vote in 2000.
He also missed the 2001 MAPS for Kids vote, the 2008 “big league city” tax vote on arena renovations, and the 2009 MAPS 3 vote.
Now he is an advocate of having voters decide whether the city should build the convention center included among the eight MAPS 3 projects.
Voters in 2009 approved a plan to spend the 1-cent MAPS 3 sales tax on capital improvements, but did not vote on individual projects. Those were chosen by the city council.