I'm going to camp out on the land I'm going to try an get my soul free We are stardust We are golden And weve got to get ourselves Back to the garden -Joni Mitchell
Three years and a long, arduous journey. We are clearly not back to the garden yet but every anniversary of the event makes us pause to assess our progress even as we brace for the possibility of another. But with this site I hope to turn the discussion toward the future. Among the topics I want to discuss.
Volunteers and non-profit groups We have made a discernible progress in reconstruction, but the greatest advances have been made as a community. Volunteers have stepped forward to lead the neighborhood associations and in turn they have become the advocates for Gentilly through their seats on the board of the Gentilly Civic Improvement Association. Members of committees such as Education have worked tirelessly to advance the basic goals of the community. There are other groups like CHAT that have made a difference as watchdogs over government and contractors.
These individuals have jobs and children and houses to fix yet they participate in meetings, help solve problems in the neighborhoods and imagine a better future for Gentilly. I don't think any of them have political ambitions, but this is where "content of character" really shines. There are many other local volunteers to thank. Unfortunately government created non-profits have recently gained some notoriety Institutional Memory
While many people have been scurrying around since day one, many of the ideas and information that we come up with is lost in the hustle. The burden of recording this information falls on the secretaries of our neighborhood organizations as well as of the GCIA. It is important for all of us to help them out by putting our ideas, and our concerns on paper before meetings so that we can help them record this information.
Mapping I am very happy to see that the Beacon of Hope groups, licensed by GNOCDC, are beginning to help with organizing a mapping effort. This is something I have been bringing to meetings for over a year now . Much to my chagrin I attracted the slings and arrows meant for the Dartmouth program, which did little to help our efforts. I still believe it is creates a foundation upon which we can create the Gentilly of our dreams.
Gentilly Development District The law has been enacted but there is much to be explained about what this organization can do for Gentilly. The better we understand it the more it can do for us. My hope is that a Community Technology Center will allow us to bring the community together and help individuals reach out and grow.
Politics And then there is government. It often seems that without the bureaucracy we could have done so much more. In the end its performance must bring into question our ability to elect able leaders and advocates. There are some bright lights and hard workers among our elected officials but the daily news continues to report negligence, bad behavior and failure to fulfill responsibilities. It would be fun to slap around a few errant pols on a regular basis, but I have been advised by more experienced pundits to steer clear of politics...
In the meantime , back to Joni Mitchell and the last verse of "Woodstock" (ala CSN&Y). a warning perhaps that our attention should never waiver as we find our way back:
We are stardust, we are golden, We are caught in the devils bargain, And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.