In response to Krab-cakes and Football:
It’s so darned hard not to agree with a guy named Charlie, because I love the name and anything to do with crab cakes works for me, but I do respectfully want to tussle when it comes to this city. As this would be unbecoming of my age, station and gender, I’ve tried very hard to understand where this man is coming from and have come to something of an epiphany.
My experience of this city is radically different from his. I live here, and have for over 22 years. Mind you, I had aspirations for Manhattan or Paris, but God dropped me here and a love of this community has bloomed over these many years. It started with my beautiful Queen Ann Victorian home, grew into a husband and two children, and expanded to include an amazing rainbow of friends I consider family. I’ve enjoyed our parks and swimming pools. I’ve been to every church and restaurant with my family. I’ve sweat to see our children provided for in our schools and that cultural opportunities thrive. I’ve used the services of physicians, dentists, mechanics and attorneys. I’ve been to countless parades, concerts, and funerals. I’ve had volunteer and professional experiences I never would have dreamed of that have been difficult and rewarding. This city has given me roots, pride and purpose.
When I decided to run for my office, I discovered that I knew much less about the community I had lived in for over two decades than I supposed. I realized that, though I’d driven down a street thousands of times, I’d never really seen it. Walking neighborhoods door-to-door opened up a view of Amsterdam that I will always treasure. Most homes in every ward are beautifully cared for and welcoming. I had no idea there were so many well-tended gardens, pristine porches or immaculate vestibules. I don’t know how many times I am going to have to repeat this, but we have a lovely, little city.
No one wants to pretend our shortcomings don’t exist, well, at least I don’t. I want our problems addressed. It’s why I decided to run for Mayor. I couldn’t bear four more years of the same faces running the same game plan. My experience as a volunteer, freelance business woman and not-for-profit director allowed me the realization that my hard head and propensity for hard work might just work for all of us.
It is. And as painful as it may be for some to acknowledge, we’re making steady progress on all fronts: organization, funding, projects, collaboration and goals. Downtown alone has over thirty property owners, volunteers and staff working to strategize, fund, beautify, and promote the area. We refuse to fail.
We are NOT focusing all of our efforts on marketing to the exclusion of other activities. Nor would we. Please go back and read the State of the City Address.
Here’s the bottom line. We’re going to market the heck out of downtown and our industrial sites to targeted audiences. We’ll present a vision of what may be, incentives we may offer and amenities we enjoy. At the same time, (again and again and again) we have more than enough to shout about… location, transportation, recreation, health care, public safety, and of course, those monstrous hearts of ours.
And for my dear friend Charlie, because again, it’s the nicest of names and isn’t it funny how names almost make the person, I’d love to take a stroll with you some spring day through this City. I think we could have a jolly good conversation and I’d like to introduce you to my ever expanding family.
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