What kind of world do you want? –lyrics from “World” by Five for Fighting
Recently, I was caught up in the frenzied efforts to bring back the cancelled television show Jericho. I confess, I watched it religiously, every week.
Growing up in the “duck and cover” era,
I found the concept fascinating. The show however, was
disappointing on so many levels – the storyline was
slow and at times mundane, the mediocre lines delivered
by unremarkable actors at best.
Yet, I was drawn in.
So were as many as nine to eleven million other viewers per episode during its fledgling season.
When the network abruptly canceled the show, fans revolted. Websites, blogs, podcasts, and videos on You Tube popped up faster than mushrooms in an Oregon cow pasture after a spring rain.
Several individuals emerged taking leaderships roles and organizing campaigns. Fans overloaded email accounts, voicemails, postal carriers, websites servers, and signed petitions expressing their outrage. One fan set up a pay pal account, collected tens of thousands of dollars from anonymous donors to purchase print and banner ads.
Individuals contributed nearly $56,000 to
purchase over 20 tons of peanuts that were delivered to
the network’s doorstep.
Why my interest?
I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if every individual living Downtown was this passionate, this invested in our community. With our resources, intelligence, abilities combined, could we bring about a quick resolution on such issues as building the new Main Library, shaping our waterfront edge, silencing the trains at night, schools and parks for our children, future parking and traffic concerns?
I wonder…What kind of a community do we want?
These Downtowners expressed their wishes for our community.
Parent of a toddler, Natisha Doherty (The Grande North) has a made a community with other young mothers living Downtown. She notes that the majority of residents living in her building, an older crowd, have formed their own social community. Though both communities coexist, she would like to see a collective attention on creating safe environments for children to play.
Sal Giametta (Columbia Place) wants a community filled with good places to escape in order to recharge our batteries, appealing and alluring places to connect people while providing a real sense of neighborhoods, and a vibrant street level filled with unique and diverse streetside retail.
Ken Cluskey (LaVita) is active in the community, serving as the President of the Little Italy Residents Association and a member of Centre City Advisory Committee. As an architect, he reflects what can get lost when building a city is often the building of community. The ideal environment is one where people can interact with each other and enjoy the many different facets of their life.
It took less than three weeks for impassioned
fans to convince the network to bring back Jericho. It
was a well-organized campaign that could not be ignored.
Can our collective voices be heard? Ask yourself, what
kind of community do you want?
History starts now. -July 2007