Sunday, June 3, 2012

Writing on Community Health, 2004 and Now

I'm reviewing old papers (yes, the physical kind, not digital) and still don't have the mindset to toss out the files that documented so many important aspects of this writer's career. The brittle papers and their writings demonstrate how collectively with other concerned citizens I had worked to build improved communities. This quest is still a focus in my life: Creating and documenting antidotes to negative influences on quality of life. That means back then I worked on stuff like anti-litter, anti-graffiti, unkempt highways, vacant lots, pollution to our land and waterways. I focused on what was important to neighborhoods, like preserving traditions, open spaces, cultural celebrations and family table talk.

Back then, and still today, I believe we all are  positive community change agents whose prescriptions of community engagement help neighborhoods improve their health. 

There are forces like power silos, population growth, urban sprawl, pollution, strain on natural resources and
politics that still erode quality of life. Today I can be frustrated when cities like Tucson grasp at funding and use
it on projects that instead of preserving and encouraging smart growth, only hurt our fragile ecosystem –
negatively impacting our water and open spaces. 

I won't tell you anything new: Only if we are engaged together in finding collective solutions to our challenges
will things work. "I'm right; you're wrong" just doesn't work. Maybe this is Pollyanna speaking...but I still believe there's a way to come together to create solutions.

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