I've been working on this issue in my community for a while now.
It's a contentious issues, and it's a long shot that my side will win. Very long.
I've been behind the scenes, doing research, collecting information, conferring with people, summarizing and synthesizing stuff and writing e-mails about it. I don't have an official position. None of us do, really, except maybe 1-2 people. Just me and a bunch of people who care about where we live, what our community looks like, and how we will live in 40 years and what our community will look like then. (At the rate things are going, we will STILL live here, although hopefully in the house next door).
It's a long shot. Even friends who don't live here have bluntly told me that.
But you know what ? I'm still hopeful. Nervous, but hopeful.
The best thing of all ? The people that started up this issue, let's call them the "schmevelopers", they thought they were going to steamroll right over us. They underestimated us. They thought that we valued "retail shopping options" more than quality of life issues. With their cocktail parties, and their swarmy ways, and their "building consensus" over coffee at Starbucks, they thought it would just be a couple of cantankerous old people objecting to their ill-conceived, poorly developed plans.
We showed them. Hell, yeah, we did. We made trouble for them by (oh gosh !) demanding factual answers to questions and asking for statistics collected in the past two years rather than 7 years ago and by asking for legally binding concessions rather than assurances of "we feel very positive about that."
Even if we don't win, we've made a difference.
I always wondered if it was true that a small, thoughtful group of committed citizens could change the world. Patriot that I am, I still had trouble believing it. My side may not change the world with this (and that's okay) but even if we lose, we have changed the playing field.
In some ways I feel like we have already won.
6 days ago