I write a bi-monthly column for my neighborhood newsletter as president of our neighborhood association. Here are my reflections for this time round. I think it's interesting to try to figure out a) how to think about how national and regional changes affect a neighborhood, b) how to bring progressive change to a small community of 3500 homes. I would appreciate feedback which might help me become a better writer and neighborhood leader. Thanks.
President’s Message 11/15/06
Winds of Change. A decisive victory. Even the newscasters are speaking in a different tone – they sound peaceful instead of rabid these first few days after Election Day 2006. The US Senate and House. The Oregon House/Senate/Governorship – all in Democrat hands for the first time in many years. Some say it’s a referendum on our President and Iraq. Others say it’s a reaction to corruption and incompetence in politics. However you view the Democrats’ landslide victory nation-wide on Election Day, one thing is for sure, our lives will be forever changed because of these results.
Locally, schools and education stand to gain both through the funding measures that passed as well as the Governor’s strong pro-schools agenda. Our libraries (another piece of the education pie) will be reinforced and our region will acquire thousands of acres of open space and parkland for Portlanders and future generations to enjoy. I believe we’ve made great decisions in these areas – they’re ones that consider the long-term results we seek – a well-educated community that has natural places to roam in, fresh air and water, protecting salmon habitat – heck, we’re starting to sound a lot like Europe! Next thing you know we’ll triple the size of Max, provide free street trees to anyone who wants them and teach comprehensive, medically accurate sex education to every student in Oregon.
Meanwhile, the leaves turn here in Beaumont-Wilshire, holiday lights go up and the rains continue to pound down day after day. New businesses open on Fremont and kids go to school. It’s a pleasure living in such a calm and beautiful place and I am pleased when I contemplate some of the positive changes our neighborhood association is working on – funding our emergency preparedness team; “City Repair”-style intersection repairs; contemplating public art on Fremont Street and more. Building a strong community creates a counter-balance to the chaos of the world and gives us strength to think bigger and take even bolder steps to make the world a better place.