My neighbor P____'s posting:
At the risk of offending others, I want to say that Not every street can easily be organized. Maybe [the street in question] as a whole can be organized, but this block is populated by very nice people who 1. don't speak English, 2. don't like meetings, 3. think things are fine. Believe me, I've tried.
Unfortunately what P_____ says is true. We have similar issues here. I have worked as a volunteer cat behaviorist in the locked ward of the SPCA and I would rather "herd cats" than try to organize my neighbors. But when I say "organized" I am referring to approximately 10% of the households. There are only 6 out of over 60 households on my large block who regularly participate in our block group efforts. Our one project has been dragging on for over two years. There was some opposition, plenty of apathy, a bit of suspicion, quite a few non-English speakers, and some very discouraging comments. Yet, it is a start, and we less-than 10% managed to get over 70% to agree to our speed bump petition. We hope to see the result of our labors before the end of the summer. I have also made a couple of new friends among my neighbors and deepened my friendship with others.________________________________
At the end of my work day, and some days it never really ends, I would rather not go to a meeting, circulate, a petition, or distribute fliers. And I really do very little of it. Especially compared to some of the real organizers and like Daniel, Edward, Carolyn, Hoang, and Ruth. Sometimes it's more than enough to just feed the screaming cat, throw away the mail, and get some dinner on the table. Cynicism, lethargy, the lure of electronic devices, and just plain fatigue work against participation. But if, every once in a while, just a few of us would aspire to emulate Adlai Stevenson's homage to Eleanor Roosevelt*, I believe that we will see some change for the good. What is the alternative making some effort to improving our civic suffering? Do we make some small effort in hope of reaching a tipping point of success, or do we just take the advice of Job's wife to "Curse God and die"?
*"She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world."