Friday, November 8, 2013

More People in the Room

From a letter I wrote to the CA Board on behalf of the Inner Arbor Plan for Symphony Woods:

"I am here tonight representing my entire family of five. Three of us live in Oakland Mills, and two in Owen Brown. We span an age range from the fifties to forties, to twenties, to almost teens. And I also speak, in a way, for the children my newly married daughter and son in law hope to have and raise in Columbia. I am here to share our hopes. ...

We can't do better by doing nothing. We can't do better by living in fear of losing the past so that our efforts are half hearted and undecided. This is not good stewardship; it is neglect. ...

This continues to be our responsibility to one another: To remain committed to a vibrant, diverse, accepting, and tangibly "better" community. Wasn't the whole point of creating Columbia that we could "do better"? Like the message of the People Tree: though many, though different, we connect with joy to make our community better and stronger."


I returned to this letter, inspired by Ian Kennedy's post about creating a Family Advisory Committee in Columbia. I ran for office because I saw the startling lack of representation amongst younger people in Columbia, and I wanted to be the catalyst for inviting more people "into the room". Ian's proposal is a brilliant way to work within the already existing CA structure to do just that.

Please take the time to read Ian's post, and the accompanying blog articles he links to, from Bill Santos of Columbia Compass, and Bill Woodcock of The 53. If you agree that families are a vital component of a healthy Columbia, write a letter.

As Ian says, Remember when you wrote you college application essay and you talked about some idealistic goal to "make the world a better place"? That idealistic 17 year old is still there inside you, maybe just suffocating under the weight of maturity and responsibilities and "who the hell has time to care about worldly matters when the kids/spouse/house/dog/car needs food/attention/money"?

Whether you are writing for yourself, your grown children, your neighbors, or your friends, your letter could mean getting "more people in the room" for Columbia's future.


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