Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 Community Meeting in 3 Nights

Let there be no doubt that our Silver Spring community is civically active!

This week there were five meetings in three nights (Monday through Wednesday), all of which were critical. Issues ranged from the serious to the surreal: from dog-poop to the impact of development. It is ALL important in Silver Spring!

The week started on Monday night with Councilmember Ervin and (DC’s) Councilmember Muriel Bowser bringing together neighbors ‘across the border’ from South Silver Spring and DC’s Shepherd Park neighborhood to discuss multi-jurisdictional issues.

On Tuesday night, the Silver Spring Civic Building came alive with two meetings in rooms literally next to each other. In one room, Safe Silver Spring hosted a dialogue on gun-control, with guests Sen. Jaime Raskin and Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez. At the same time, County Executive Leggett was meeting with the first ever combined gathering of the African American Advisory Committee, the African Advisory Committee, and the Caribbean Advisory Committee.

Wednesday night saw two more meetings, each at different corners of the Regional Area. The Lyttonsville community and the Woodside neighborhood met with the Maryland Transit Authority to discuss the Purple Line. At the same time, over at Long Branch, that community was meeting with Park & Planning to provide input to the Sector Plan.

What is amazing is that at each of the five meetings participation was truly exceptional. All-in-all, somewhere around 200 community members attended at least one of these meetings. (There were few people that went to more than one of the meetings; but very few.) Participants ranged from single family home owners to apartment dwellers; from low income to high income; and, Silver Spring’s diversity was evident throughout.

People expressed their opinions; clarified their positions; and got mad (in a good way!)

This level of community participation is truly one of Silver Spring’s strength. It is through this community advice and input that the impact of policy decisions can be most effective. So, if you were at one of these meetings: Thanks!... If not, see you next time – and bring a neighbor! 

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