Oh Yes We Did!

I loved the headline!

This is an update on my recent post Democracy Is Alive. Looks like a small group of committed citizens certainly can make a difference…Oh yes we did! 

After we gathered the troops to battle the politicians, we utilized our freedom of speech via the press and the good old social media. Fact: Facebook & YouTube scare the crap out of old politicians.

We went old school to pound pavements for signatures and also included an online petition for our cyber supporters as well. No one said it would be easy.

I was fortunate enough to be part of a team composed of like-minded individuals in order to make this a success. We all have talents that enabled us to move this forward quickly. This “project” was in the works for 7 years and we changed those plans in a little over 40 days.

For instance, my neighbor Joe created the video that tugged at heart-strings of his audience … hey now, nothing wrong with jumping on the sympathy wagon … which just happened to spread like wildfire, dubbing him the “Michael Moore” of our project.

Our neighbor Ray was our communicator/informant. He made calls to all parties involved daily to gather our ammunition pertinent information, dubbing him “Deep Throat.”

Deep Throat, Michael Moore & Erin Brockovich

As for me, well I was the digger. I searched until my eyes were burning and my fingers sore. Thank you Google and Public Records search engines thank you very much. This dubbed me “Erin Brockovich.”

The story made an appearance in our local paper The Northeast Times, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Radio Station 106.9 here in Philadelphia. Not bad for a few concerned neighbors. 

Our initial goal was to stop the madness completely, however according to our City Councilman, it was already a “done deal” and although he admitted “I should have notified the community, I take full responsibility.” Let me finish this sentence: However, it was an election year and a lot of you already didn’t like me, so I decided winning for my 8th term was way more important than all of you. 

Therefore, without a long drawn out legal battle we wouldn’t have a chance in reversing this deal. The other “done deal” will be this councilman loosing his next run for office. He has been in office for 32 years…so tootles! 

After numerous negotiations we made the decision to compromise with the business owner and I am happy to report that we made some significant progress in saving a large portion of this land from the asphalt. It’s amazing what a collective effort can accomplish. Hmm, I wonder where this would come in handy *cough* DC. 

The company we were up against has been at its current location for 11 years, with organic growth during that time, however he is getting cramped and does need additional space to expand. The fact that he is able to expand in this economy is a very good sign for our community. 

We were extremely fortunate because just like us, this businessman was also duped by the politician involved. He was promised that “everything was taken care of” and he had nothing to worry about. Poor thing thought the politician was doing the right thing by him. 

We have been given the opportunity to assist in the design of the area that will be surrounding the parking lot. It will now be bordered by natural berms, lined with mature trees to block our view and absorb sound. We blocked the idea of a chain-linked fence and agreed on something that would be safe, but esthetically easy on the eyes. 

There is also going to be a “meadow” constructed using trees and grasses that are historic to the area. The business owner as agreed to maintain this portion of the property for (5) years to ensure this land resumes to its natural state. We were all especially elated about this piece of the plan. 

All in all our efforts were not wasted. We not only gained a voice in the construction of his property, we gained a stronger sense of community, which was long overdue.

This small sliver of the pie opened our eyes to some significant changes that need to be made in order have a successful voice in the decisions that are being made on behalf of “our best interest,” at all levels of  our local government.

Now get out there and make a difference one act at a time….Enjoy the Ride!

44 responses

  1. You’re TOPS! Way to go!

  2. Congratulations! A battle fought and won gives hope to all of us!

  3. That is AWESOME.. I have always said the power of our voices can do mighty things and this is living proof of that.. Way to go girl 🙂

    1. Thank you! My hope is that people will continue to have voices.

  4. Yay you!!! Well done. I loved reading this! It’s amazing what can happen when we stand together and organize. This is a foundation of our country. Well done.

    1. Thank you! People have short memories when it comes to what this country was built on. It’s sad that people are so afraid to speak up.

  5. Deep Throat, Michael Moore & Erin Brockovich, what a great team! Congratulations on making yourselves heard and being part of the compromise. Well done!

  6. YEAH!!! You give me hope. A small group in our valley is fighting to keep genetically modified canola out of an agriculturally protected zone where over 200 seed crops are grown. Public hearing on Friday. It was fun to read your earlier post, how you went about raising awareness, the video, the news — and now success! Congratulations! It can be done.

    1. Best of luck to you and your cause! I’ll be sending positive vibes your way on Friday. Be persistent and continue to demand answers. It drives them crazy when they realize you figured out that the PEOPLE have voices.

  7. I am so happy for you! What you and your (fantastically named) team did is truly inspiring

    1. Thanks so much! Michael still sends me text messages addressing me as Erin…lol

  8. I know this was a community effort but I just have to say… Erin, you rock 🙂 oh, & I miss seeing your face!

    1. Thank you Jennifer! No one said there would be photos taken, I was so pissed. For god sakes I just got done cleaning when Michael Moore called me to come over his house!

  9. Facebook and YouTube scare the crap out of me, too! I’m delighted to hear of your collective success. It just goes to show that when everyone is involved, the situation does become a winning one for all concerned. Even for the councilmember: after 32 years of seeming paternalistic decisions, it’s time to remember that constituents are not children. It also behooves us to remember that our elected officials are serving their constituents; ergo, WE’RE the Boss! Way to go, Team! xoM

    1. Hahaha! He has been MY councilman for 30 years, my entire voting career…Oh, and I let him know how insane that was for me to grasp. I told him he has been my councilman from my high school graduation, 2 marriages, 2 homes, 2 kids, several careers and a partridge in a pear tree!

      1. Yikes! Time for a rest! hahahah!

  10. Yay!!! Democracy in action. Sounds fun and inspiring! I’m glad you shared this story! Now you need to mobilize your troops to get people out the door to vote on election day! Well done!!!

    1. Thank you! It was very inspiring. Getting troops to mobilize is the hardest part of these efforts…blows my mind.

      1. Well done!!! A great story to inspire others!!

  11. Congratulations! While not “exactly” what you were hoping for, you got a great outcome and kudos to the business owner to working with you!

    1. Thank you! The business owner turned out to be a very nice man, not businesslike at all.

  12. Congrats, what a great story.

  13. Congrats on getting at least a bit of a solution to the problem, despite “city hall.” It shows what people working in a concerted effort towards a solution for all can do.

    1. Thank you. It sure did. The biggest hurdle was finding people willing to assist us in our effort.

  14. Power to the voice of the people. This was not just a community win…it spewed hope into the vial waters of Government. We CAN make change!

    1. Indeed my friend indeed it did.

  15. Nice work. Nice photo… tough looking all business type group. But, I’m thinking Erin should have pushed that Michael More out of the way and taken center stage…

    1. No one said photos would be taken. I was cleaning when Mike called to tell me the reporter was on his way…not funny Mike, not funny.

  16. Fantastic job! Way to go!

  17. It’s so admirable what you did. If nothing else these fuckers who care so little are now busted wide open. I love the pictures and how it’s chronicled. Sorry it’s ‘a done deal’ but it’s a win for democracy. Remember that? I think it might be up there with Beta Maxes and pay phones that work. I shouldn’t even joke about that. The Founders wouldn’t be too pleased.

  18. I found you through The Byronic Man.


    1. Thank you and glad you stopped by especially via Byronic Man!

  19. This is such hard, long, tiring work. Especially the research. Congratulations and keep going. it seems like it takes a long time for these things not to keep raising their ugly head and finally go away.

    1. You are so right, they know how to hide information that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. Congrats on the result so far and for your tenacity. One voice is all it takes to start a movement.

  21. I absolutely love stories like these. Great work and congrats! I’m in broadcast news and cover a lot of things like these but i’m new to blogging, check me out! http://bit.ly/S4a6ID

    1. Thanks for stopping by. We were interviews by 2 journalist students from Temple University today. They were so young and energized by our grassroots effort, it actually made me feel good. Good luck with your blog!

  22. Congratulations! Now that you’ve got the troops organized, what cause are you going to take on next?

    1. Thank you and thanks for stopping by. I’m always looking for wrongs to right. Now I must go press my cape and inquire about some special powers.

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