It’s the morning after the community forum about Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue, and the issue continues to stir up opinion. My original story just topped the 200-comment mark (whoohoo!), and others are starting to comment on my follow-up story from last night’s forum.
A few people around the office have asked me what the meeting was like. Here, in no particular order, are seven few random thoughts and opinions that couldn’t make it into the story:
The forum, held on the ground floor of Sanford and Son Antique, was absolutely packed. People were forced to stand on the stairs just to listen to what was going on. If you’re a fan of community-based action, you couldn’t help but smile.
Marty Campbell, the chair of the New Tacoma Neighborhood Council, moderated the event. He brought a gavel and pounded it when things got out of control. Smart idea. Really, really smart idea.
It was obvious all people involved were deeply passionate about what they envisioned happening with Brick City. And that could almost be a shame, because the two prevailing views seem irreconcilable at times.
The few times the meeting descended into a bout of finger-pointing and name-calling, there were enough adults in the room to steer the talk back to a level of civility.
It’s tough to escape the racial undertones of a lot of what is said. I believe many of the people who don’t want Brick City in its location are not racist or making their decisions on racial grounds, but it seemed obvious many of the Club Friday volunteers and clubbers (many of whom are black) feel it’s a big factor.
Deanna Neidlinger, the project manager for World Vision, made a good-natured crack at me during the forum. That was appreciated Deanna – it meant people were reading.
- Lastly, this is a topic that isn’t going away for a long time.