I am composing my responses on the Application Form for a position on the Environmental Commission for my community. The thing is I am filled with trepidation, anxious about such a commitment and ambivalent about being a part of a corrupt system. Let me quickly add that I feel all political bodies have become corrupt within this corporatist culture of the US. Every City Council meeting I attend or watch on streaming video from my home, is rife with corporate politics of entitlement and advantage.
I say this though I respect several City Council members and another person running for the City Council. In fact, I am hosting a candidate meet and greet at the trailer park this coming Sunday. So, I have these urges towards community actvism. I just don't believe it much. I believe that community government is more about ego and one-upmanship and petty power plays. Gah. But, I admonish myself constantly for walking away instead of confronting the problems. Bad. Habit. FAIL.
And, on a good day, when I am not overwhelmed with the negativity of the political sphere, I am appalled at how shallow the approaches, the thinking and the outlook for the future or for change. They need my good ideas, damn it. yes no yes no yes no . . . I could hurl.
Enter below your qualifications and what you would like to accomplish if appointed.
I have no income conflicts as I have no income. I am retired from my corporate work in Facility Planning and Management, a career I enjoyed in New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix after graduating from Cornell. How we all live and work within the built environment has been my life’s work. I now have expanded this to include the living world we build upon and manipulate for our own ends, although I believe there are aspects of the built environment that every citizen can contribute to a sustainability template. I believe we can make a ‘green’ plan for every household that would make [my town] a model for the country.
- The sustainability of a lifestyle is the central issue of my life. Every aspect of living carries an impact and I strive to reduce my carbon footprint, my resource use and any destructive consumption patterns simply with conscious choices. And, this brings a heightened awareness of the riches of this community. It isn’t hyperbole to say that we live in paradise.
- The community model that emphasizes the ground we walk on, the infrastructures of this town and most importantly the well-being of the citizens, the life within the natural world that supports us is the definition of sustainable. These should all be the focus of sustainability because the Latin root of the word sustain means, "to hold up from underneath.” Sustainability isn’t about a few top financial contributors.
- In this regard I would emphasize that ultimately the health and sustainability of [my town's] ecology is of equal or greater importance than [my town's] economy. Without the first, we need not worry about the second. If we destroy or ignore the first, our children and grandchildren will have neither.
- But, to quote a line I read this week that seems perfect for our coastal community, ”What if we designed city life around the happiness of the people who live there instead of the ease of moving cars around for those who don't?”
Freedom's just another word for nothing else to lose.
h/t Dependable Renegade for photo. What the image lacks in quality it makes up for in capturing my emotions.
h/t to Fake Plastic Fish for the Latin root for sustain. Thanks Beth
h/t to No Impact Man for the line about people's happiness rather than traffic. Great line, Colin.
I stole with impunity from the community of the blogosphere. If asked, I will verbally cite my sources as I couldn't squeeze citations onto the frigging form. As it was, I reformatted it just to squeeze myself into the silly form.
Update: It is Wednesday, August 27 and I am supposed to present myself to the City Council tonight. I am embarrassed to come back and read this weeks later and find typos and crap sentence structure. I think it is related to my ambivalence. I remember feeling the urgency to quickly finish the form, make a pdf and send it before I changed my mind. I may not even show up.