Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"Activist" vs "Active in the Community"

A few months ago I was a wife, a mom, and a nurse practitioner. I didn't have a clue what a mitigated negative declaration was and I thought that if an empty lot was zoned 'Commercial Retail' it meant that it would not be covered with high-density housing but would someday have one or more buildings on it with a commercial function of some kind.

I thought that the unincorporated communities were represented by an advisory group which had some authority in assuring that the citizen-created community design plan was adhered to. I thought I had a representative on the Board of Supervisors...

What is the difference between an "activist" and someone who is "active in the commmunity?" I can't say for sure but the trend seems to be that if you're willing to just help out and do as you're told then you're "active in the community." If you want to help out but you see some elephants in the room and you would like to point them out -- then you're an "activist" which tends to carry some negative connotations.

It's unfortunate, really. I think that all of us want to live in healthy and balanced communities. We just need to try to figure out how to work together in finding the best way of getting there. --Korie Bayer

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