Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Focus on Follow Up

Sometimes we get really excited about things and go all out, and then the moment passes and our feeling of empowerment fades. We forget to keep paying attention. Often we lose the chance to influence the outcome because we don't keep our eyes on the prize. It's just human nature. But that doesn't mean we should just accept this state of affairs. If we truly care about the outcome, we have to find a way to stay focused.

So today, some follow up:

What has happened since the March 13th Board of Education meeting where parents expressed concerns for cuts to arts education? Do we have specifics on whether small-group instruction for instrumental learners will be maintained? Do we have specifics on maintaining instructional time for General Music and Art classes? Do we have specifics on how parents and teachers will be included in program changes? If you wrote a letter to the Superintendent and/or the Board of Education, were your questions adequately addressed?

Hmm. Still have questions? It is time to write another letter, attend a meeting, make a telephone call, join an advocacy group. Don't lose focus.

What has happened with the race for Board of Education.? There are 13 candidates. Have you heard from any of them? I opened up the blog for candidate responses on Sunday. So far we have answers from Corey Andrews and Leslie Kornreich, with emails from Allen Dyer, Dr. Zaneb Beams, Cynthia Vaillancourt, Sandra French, Michael Smith that they will participate.

If you know any of the other candidates, make sure that they know about this opportunity to have their voice heard. I have emailed them all individually, but they need to know that you are paying attention. Mark your calendar for the LWV Candidate Forum on April 30th. Make your own list of questions. And don't lose focus.

What has happened on the Merriweather Post Pavillion front? We all want to save Merriweather, but have we been paying attention? The County put forward one idea, the Howard Hughes Corporation countered. There were articles in the newspaper. Now what?

Well, on Thursday, April 17at 7:00 pm the Howard County Planning Board will be hearing testimony on an amendment to the Downtown Columbia Master Plan that would help Merriweather. So there's a chance for follow up. You can also share the Facebook page with local friends, and write a letter to the Sun. Don't lose focus.

It sounds hokey to say we're all in this together, but it's the truth. If we want answers, representation, and positive change, we have to work for it, and keep working for it. Each individual effort supports those made by others. One might say it's a marathon, not a sprint. But maybe it is more like a relay. We need to "spell" eachother so that the long, long process of community activism doesn't wear us down.

What will you set your sights on today?




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