At last Wednesday’s Listening Session kick off at the Pine Grove, I was impressed, once again, by our tireless City Manager, Leila Aman, and our dedicated City Staff, who came out to facilitate the session. I thank each of them for their service to our community. The format was simple yet effective and staff was there to answer all manner of questions from the community.
Folks wrote down their concerns, solutions, and ideas for the different topics presented on big white paper and used blue sticky dots to agree with comments written by others. The blizzard of blue dots next to so many of the comments show how we share the same values and agree about more than you’d think.
Before I left, I read all the comments again in case I missed something. As I read, I could see how so many of our challenges are tangled together. It’s like that big bag of yarn I got at the Hope Chest years ago thinking I’d untangle and use it, but instead I keep shoving to the back of the closet. That yarn isn’t going to untangle itself. Neither will our challenges.
It took decades to create the problems we’re living with now and it’s not going to be quick to find solutions but City Manager Aman is setting the stage for the conversation to begin with these first steps.
Plus, it was fun, too. Who doesn’t like stickers, markers and big white paper? Who doesn’t like seeing old friends and meeting new ones?
I met some people I didn’t know but knew of. I had conversations with people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise who offered different perspectives about some things I feel deeply about. That’s where community starts–not just with our besties who agree with us about everything, but with those who don’t.
If you aren’t able to go to the next session, you have until the 23rd to do the on-line survey available on the City’s homepage.
The next live session is Wednesday July 20, from 1-4 at the Pine Grove. Blue dots are provided!