Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for October, 2010

SPEAK UP AND BE COUNTED. VOTE NOVEMBER 2, 2010!

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I Received the following from a friend of mine in Brooklyn Centre.  He is right. I have seldom if ever heard Bob speak his political views at a community meeting.  Therefore, I can only surmise that the incident must have been pretty reprehensible for Bob to send this missive to his email list.  I must concur that he is right this political season has had some of the most reprehensible and downright disgusting advertising I have seen in my lifetime.  And, yes, I have turned away and said nothing as so many, but where to start and how to end, but my friend speaks the truth.  We MUST fight back by not succumbing to their intimidation tactics and to use our own words to bring reason and sanity back to our political process.

Bob’s email:

Friends:
I try to limit my political views, but I can only do so to a point. I was at a community meeting earlier this evening where a local public official noted that it’s good we’re going to see "change" during this election. He didn’t clarify however whether he was referring to just county offices (thank god were seeing change there) or to all levels of government. (state and national) Just that we’re "going to see change".

What the hell is going on in this country that so many people are sitting back, accepting and even believing the Republicans, Tea baggers and other right wing extremists as they continue with their distortions and the type of political philosophy that got this county in the economic mess we’re now in? Not to mention their troubling domestic and international policy agendas.

Make no mistake folks, the bulk of the American public lies closer to the middle, despite the efforts of the major media (Plain Dealer included) that naively struggles to bring "balance" to their readership by steering them towards the extreme right. I’m afraid due to their success and the lack of courage on the part of so many others, this country will take a drastic turn for the worse. Please everyone – many of you being public officials yourself – prove me wrong, speak-up and spread the word that we need to stand up to the extremists and stay, and even strengthen the course, before its too late.  
Feel free to forward this message.

Robert H. Gardin
Cleveland, Ohio 44109

My response:

Well said, Bob!  Besides being an educated voter and voting EVERY time, I think that as citizens we need to do what you do Bob and attend these meetings and voice our opinions.  Unfortunately, I see too many people –elected officials, government employees, private citizens who do not express their opinions in public, and therefore, we have no dialogue only demagoguery.  We need to allow for differences of approach and ideas in civic engagement, but too often there is no civility.  I believe we need to embrace freedom of speech and have "true" town hall meetings.  Too often, one side or the other takes the reins and shouts down everyone else, and therefore, our society as a whole is made poorer because we have not been enriched by many ideas and actions, but are governed by only a few, not because the plan was made by using best practices but the loudest. 

My friend Jill Miller Zimon  has been incensed by how many well-qualified women candidates have either been vilified or ignored  by so many citizen and mass media journalists. My apologies for the choice but the title is just so wonderful and it gets readers to where I wanted them to go.   She has also called out Josh Mandel and his ill-disguised attempt to use religious intolerance to capture “voting by fear”. my term not hers.  How sad to see how far we have fallen because of silence.  I am truly blessed to have friends like Bob and Jill.  They keep me centered.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 19th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Day One: Reclaiming Vacant Land Conference

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Not much time to write before my ride for day two of this conference arrives.  So, right now I will only offer impressions of the first day.  If these next two days are anything like the first all us Clevelanders are going to be puffing out our chests and bursting with pride.  First comment heard from one of the organizers was How great to step off the plane, step on a train and be at your hotel in a matter of minutes.

I attended the training session on Receivership of property.  Very interesting and I will write more later.  The welcome session with the Mayors of Flint and Memphis was a very important perspective on this problem of urban sprawl.  I will write more later.  Took good notes so I should be able to call up the memories.

Off to another day of learning with I bet more compliments about our great city!

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 14th, 2010 at 6:41 am