Writing about the city requires reading the public documents of local government, even if one chooses not to write about what one’s read. Reading and observing come well before writing.
Daily observation inclines an observer not to the immediate, but the distant – one takes a longer view of things.
Along the way, sometimes one reads something that’s a harbinger of our city’s future.
While reviewing the Common Council packet for Tuesday’s scheduled meeting, I saw a resident’s application for a prominent commission. At the end of the application, in her own hand, she wrote that she hoped to continue her work toward “best practices, fair treatment, and transparency.”
One day, resting on that present hope, we will have a new and better city. If we were to have a motto, ‘best practices, fair treatment, and transparency’ would be a good one.
That’s not this time, but a future one. From now until then will require hard and relentless work. We will find, I’m sure, that ‘kind words and a real good heart‘ will not be enough.
To bring about a better, fairer, more transparent city will require of us what Nietzsche felt necessary of an advocate — “A very popular error: having the courage of one’s convictions; rather it is a matter of having the courage for an attack on one’s convictions.”
We’ll have that better city (I’ve no doubt), but it will require tenacity.
Nothing less will do.