Friday, November 7, 2008

Tikkun Olam Fridays – Repairing the World One Step at a Time

Another Friday, another post on tikkun olam – to repair the world. Remember, you don’t have to finish the job, but it is your responsibility to start.

What action did you take this week, big or little, to make a difference?

I voted, like millions of other Americans. The turnout was huge, the civic involvement was great. I shed tears of joy. Now what? I looked around and said ‘where can I focus my energies?’ What did I want to see happen, other than world peace, a thriving economy and the end of global warming?

I was not on any short list for President Elect Obama’s cabinet, so I surfed the Internet and checked out the HaveFunDoGood post for Nov 5th. It discussed How You Can Make An Impact, laying out some steps to channel the activist urges that I must be sharing with many of my fellow Americans.

Blogger Britt Bravo said “To figure out how you can make an impact, try this exercise based on a similar one from Carol Lloyd's book Creating a Life Worth Living” describing how to find what interests you and how to break it down into bite size/doable pieces.

What issues are important to you, what are your skills, find the areas you’re most interested in, list 3 bite size, doable steps that could be accomplished in 30 minutes-2 hours, mark your calendar for when you’ll complete them, do it, pick 3 more. Repeat with same idea or another. Find a group to report in to.

Sounds like a plan. And this weekend I’ll try it.

In the meantime I wanted instant gratification. I like food and California is not only an aggie state, I have real farms near me. Only their produce is not as close as I would like. But it could be within walking distance if the farmers market that’s been scheduled to go in about 1 ½ miles from home even happens.

So I wrote a letter to my local weekly newspaper, The Acorn, about how I’m in favor of having a farmers market in our neighborhood. Supposedly all the ducks were in line. Is it bureaucratic red tape? More on that later. But if the letter gets published, I’ll let you know. I missed the deadline for this week’s issue and it was filled with election recaps anyway.

After the letter, I called a government office. Oak Park is unincorporated and the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors looks out for us. So I called our Supervisor’s office and spoke with a staffer. I asked about the hold-up on getting this market going. She was pleasant and said the delay wasn’t from their end. The owners of the mall, where the market will be located, have to send in certain forms for a minor modification to the permit.

Hmmm was my response to myself. I sniffed the air. Fish. After 8 years of Bush, all I could think was that somebody was sitting on something for some reason.

The staffer emailed some material to me right away so I guess you can say we’ve started a dialogue. I’ve calendared the next Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council meeting for later this month where I plan to ask how we can make this market, the closest thing Oak Park can get to a public square, happen.

And I just made a call to the company that puts on these farmers markets. Of course, the person in charge wasn’t in – duh, it was 4:45pm on Friday afternoon - but I did catch someone who said call back on Monday. And mentioning the market didn't scare her off. A good sign.

Well, my community organizing has begun.

1 comment:

Green Bean said...

Good for you! I hope you end up with that market. BTW, I'm shocked that you aren't on the short list for Sec of Ag or maybe of the Interior. Never know. ;-)