Monday, June 1, 2009

Use Your Voice

I am a daydreamer. Today when I should have been paying attention to something else, I began thinking about the town I grew up in on the Jersey Shore. It's a long island-- 18 miles, in fact-- with no public transportation. I began designing a public transportation system to send to the mayor.

First, I thought about beneficiaries. Significant numbers of old people and immigrant workers live on the island, and both groups (sometimes) have limited access to cars. Where would these people want to go? Work, the grocery store, community center, library, and hospital, to name a few. After creating some alternative bus loops and a list of advantages and disadvantages, I emailed the proposal to the mayor. He replied within a few hours that bus plans have been in the works for a year and we might see results soon. So while I did not actually affect anything, it was empowering to use my voice.

Later on, some friends and I emailed senators about the same issue. Because of the energy crisis (particularly involving oil) and global warming, it's the perfect time to advocate for and innovate with public transportation.


  1. I love how you acted upon your thoughts and emailed the mayor immediately. It's incredible what we feel we can accomplish by taking that small initiative to use your voice as you mention. I've similarly been experiencing a feeling of empowerment by reaching out and using what resources, talents, skills I've been given and have developed over the years (Even when it doesn't necessarily enact change - the public transit proposal was already in the works - it provides training for the tasks ahead). People also appreciate a voice like yours.

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