Are we all still here? The nature of publishing necessitates drafting columns, allowing for maximum procrastination, a week early. That puts one in a pre-inauguration state, reflecting in advance on …
Are we all still here? The nature of publishing necessitates drafting columns, allowing for maximum procrastination, a week early. That puts one in a pre-inauguration state, reflecting in advance on post-inauguration living. I certainly hope we’ve made it to the other side of a simple election, although the people remain constitutionally unable to decide the outcome with a direct, democratic vote. Particularly now, this paints a much clearer picture than the contested electoral illusions implied by certain interests.
Listening to people is illuminating. My understanding of societal inequities greatly increased this past summer, as people gathered in opposition to unequally imposed, institutional violence. My understanding of fear, media funnels and differing perceptions increased more recently, as people gathered to challenge results from a high-turnout election. I attended the former gatherings with an open heart and returned home hopeful. I watched the latter from afar, with an open mind, but found myself disheartened.
Honesdale has not been sheltered from the good and bad of these national conversations. No community has. However, these shared experiences can make our communities stronger.
When your state representative stokes unfounded electoral concerns, born out of reform legislation they voted for that increased the franchise of Pennsylvania voters, seemingly to ride the wave of political gain, the wild nature of recent history flashes brightly. Yet even in that instance of bad representation, some good made itself available. Listening to people is good. People speaking is good. The back and forth combination of both is good.
Here’s to increased discussion and decreased violence this year and every other going forward. This is always a potential pathway when we focus on our communities. What are the important issues in your neighborhood? Are your local leaders doing right by you and your neighbors?
Is there a trail project needing support or guidance? Do certain officials place the value of car parking above the value of people living? Should possible local-share-account Pennsylvania Gaming Act grant funds be allocated to tear down a riverside building? A particular building that has not been presented to the public as anything other than a condemned building? Even when engineering reports exist that explicitly spell out all structural concerns, knowing that the full universe of opportunities always includes potential investment in historic building rehabilitation and new affordable housing?
Have you been invited to discuss questions like these in your community? If not, I invite you to do just that and encourage you to invite others. Your involvement in local issues is welcome. Local engagement is a way to both get things done and increase understanding. Feel free to peacefully engage anytime. I’ll be doing the same and I’ll be listening.
Derek Frey Williams, Citizen Planner, Canaltown. Visit interweb portals @canaltown552.com for more local landscape stories.