You mentioned you might be ready to put on your activist hat. I’ve just dusted off mine, and am wondering what one issue could we rally around that would speak to the overall problem, and in some way demonstrate how the majority feels about the direction of our city. There seems to be plenty of people writing about their concerns about over development, the erosion of our city’s character and the void left by Nick Cracknell’s removal.
What do you think of this idea? Recently, the citizens of Nantucket voted for the adoption of a Formula Store Article which essentially sets aside a percentage of their downtown area to be chain store free.
This type of initiative has several appealing aspects. One, it speaks to the desire to maintain the character of our downtown area. Two, it supports the valuable efforts and contributions of our local businesses. Three, it focuses on a single issue that many folks of different persuasions could get behind. I have in mind the person who wrote about the Hummer citing downtown, the young man who wrote about selling out the city and the Around the North Shore blogger who is monitoring the Tracy Street development.
I’m not proposing a love fest here, but surely there’s just so much grousing we can do. At some point I feel I need to take some positive action to dispel this feeling of helplessness.
So with this post I’m taking my first action. My next action will be to drop a letter in the mail to the woman who started the initiative in Nantucket. I’m going to ask her:
a) How did she get the initiative started?
b) Who wrote the bylaw?
c) Who in state government did she contact to help her through the process?
d) How many people worked on the initiative and what roles did they play?
My final action for today is to invite you and anyone else who would like to help with this initiative to contact me. My email address is: email@example.com. Please put in the subject line “I want to help,” that way my spam control won’t delete your message.
” The art of living is always to make a good thing out of a bad thing.” E.F. Schumacher, economist (1911-1977)
Allyson Lawless, Newburyport