Hello BlueOregonians. I thought my next blog posting to you might show a little of what I'm thinking neighborhood-wise. I'm the president of my (Beaumont-Wilshire) neighborhood association. In that role, I pen a president' message for our newsletter every 2 months. In the past two newsletters I have written to encourage people to remove their lawns and plant vegetable gardens and about community building. I thought some of you might enjoy this month's message. I really love being part of my neighborhood association - it's the most effective place for change I've ever found. I'll keep traveling to Washington, DC to lobby for more international family planning funding every year, but for the day to day feeling of healing the world, you can't beat your neighborhood association.
It’s 7pm on a warm and sunny Tuesday Summer/Autumn evening and I’m on the front porch listening to music on the laptop and watching sunflowers wave in the wind. I talk to neighbors who walk by on Klickitat: with their dogs, bikes, kids and cell-phones. When we connect I tell them about our neighborhood association – an upcoming meeting, community picnic or we talk about trees, gardens or the beginning of the school year. My Father is an extrovert and always speaks to strangers, and this trait is one I’m happy to have inherited. Birds are winging their way from Northeast to Southwest, black crows, as the leaves from the large maple out front drift to the ground. Autumn approaches.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write this month. It’s election season and I’m excited about the change I feel in the air. With a BA and MA in political science I have always enjoyed the political process. From my days as student council president in high school to living on a kibbutz for a year and lots of time spent on community councils and planning boards, I love fostering leadership and encouraging people to take initiative and make our world a better place. I believe it increases our joy and happiness when we’re involved in our community – I think it’s even been shown that those who participate in their communities live longer and have better love lives :)
And, as Cher once said “life is not a dress rehearsal”. We get one chance to live big, fantastic lives, why not choose to live large right now? In that vein I’m reminded of one of the suggestions we received to our query of what we should do with our neighborhood association’s treasury. Someone wrote in suggesting we have a water fountain on Fremont. It sounds like a radical idea, and I don’t know of another neighborhood outside of downtown that has one – so, perhaps it’s time for us to take the leap! The idea makes me laugh and I think it would be fantastic and be one more attraction to our business district/social center. We now have people on our board working on intersection repair projects, improving Wilshire Park and continuing to make our neighborhood incredible. I want to encourage you to dream along with us and jump in with any ideas or projects you have that will bring this community together to get to know one another better and increase our sense of place. What’s your vision for Beaumont-Wilshire?
Have a great Autumn and I hope to meet you soon at one of our upcoming community events.