Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You can make a difference!

I hope you all took the opportunity to fully embrace our democracy and vote today! I think right now is an exciting time of change.

My hope is that you voted for a candidate that you believe can help us collectively re-align the choices our we are currently making as a nation to better fit our core values.

What I want to encourage tonight, on this day of democracy in action, is local action. I want to encourage you to take an active role in your future by being more involved in local politics.

Over the last few weeks I have attended public meetings regarding the nature of development in the designated growth area of the county (for me, this area is 250 East). The County and the Thomas Jefferson District Planning Commission are hosting a series of public workshops on development and transportation, where they are asking for public input on what this area will look like in the next 20 years. I am by far the youngest person in attendance by twenty years. While this makes me sleep well at night, it is discouraging to me that more people aren't taking an active role in the co-creation of their community.

Now I realize my attendance at these meetings is taking a total leap of faith, given what has happened in Crozet and then Pantops (at one meeting I attended there was audible laughter at the Pantops Master Plan), but I have to believe that the County is trying their level best to get it right this time.

And I think they will with continual input from the community.

But we need you! Do you want to see surrounding rural areas protected? More green space? Another co-housing community? Come to the meetings and share your wants.

It's true that the bucks stops with the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commissions: they get the final say. (I remember being outraged at the "temporary" crossing on the downtown mall having been implemented in the face of the planning commissions recommendation otherwise).

But they represent us! Our County Board of Supervisors (and in Cville proper, the City Council) affects our quality of life on a day-to-day basis probably more than the federal government does.

So we must pay attention to the issues, make phone calls, pay visits, write letters. Check out the County website or City website under community development. We can make a difference!

Happy Voting,

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