The “good folks of Watertown” were recently advised to expect the sound of “strangers knocking on their door.” Please don’t be alarmed. They’re all “good folks of Watertown” too – like me.
This is my first and probably last time knocking on doors, because it’s not my favorite thing. However, it’s for a cause I believe in – adoption of the Community Preservation Act, which appears as Question 5 on the November 8 ballot.
Along with my fellow members of the Watertown Conservation Commission, I have watched helplessly for years as opportunities for redeveloping property for public recreation are lost because the Town lacks a ready source of funds dedicated to such a purpose. The same sense of frustration afflicts those who serve the housing needs of citizens who are in mounting danger of being priced out of town. The historic character of Watertown also frequently loses to overwhelming market forces.
What to do? Town government leadership was inadvisable. Adoption of the Community Preservation Act in Watertown needed to be a citizens’ movement. That’s why you see me and like-minded individuals at the grass-roots level, walking the streets and knocking on doors.
Much though I gulp and hesitate before taking on another street, I have to admit that the experience has revealed to me how decently people receive strangers at their door, how there’s a meeting of eyes, a willingness to listen as well as exchange politely many differing points of view. Of course it’s intrusive, and tedious too. It’s as messy as … Democracy in action!
Don’t ever fear a horde of strangers like me disrupting your domestic tranquility. This is hard work, and I don’t expect it to get easier. I do believe that I’m working to improve the opportunity for all of us “good folks” to create the common ground in which to meet, and find the “strangers” not so strange.
(Editor’s Note: the last letters about the Nov. 8 election will be run on Sunday Nov. 6, and must be submitted by Saturday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.)