It’s over. Lawn signs are disappearing. The Farmers’ Market is selling produce, not politics. And what are the lessons?
For me, it’s simple. Stay involved.
I confess to having been AWOL as Menlo Park’s future took shape. In five years, there were lots of opportunities to support, oppose or amend the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan. Frankly, I wasn’t paying much attention. I saw the occasional report, read an article here and there…but otherwise ignored the process.
That’s why Measure M delivered a win for everyone. The issue engaged the community. It forced us all to think about our downtown.
But will I stay engaged? I hope so, but it’s hard to say. I only managed half of a City-sponsored workshop on traffic. This came as Measure M campaigners, pro and con, inveighed against congested streets. The City workshop was sparsely attended. Traffic may be a hot campaign topic, but understanding it takes work. Still, I learned that much.
Thing is, there’s a lot more work to do. ‘Menlo Focus,’ published by the City Manager’s office, remains on my desk. As a resource for considering urban growth and prosperity, it’s a good place to start.
In our nation we have gotten used to embittered politics. Maybe we can do better in Menlo Park…less cynical, more involved.