We know that Front Porch Forum will be successful in a community when we see folks stepping up to take ownership of their town/neighborhood FPF. After a controversial posting on the Cambridge FPF this week, Dennis just posted the response below to his neighbors… a wonderful example…
We have an amazing Front Porch Forum in Cambridge. Starting with just a few participants in June of 2010 we now have 937 members representing well over 60% of all the households in Cambridge, and this while a good portion of our town is still awaiting our long promised broadband access. I can’t help but think that one reason for our success is the respect that we have shown one another and the respect that we all have for our Cambridge Front Porch Forum.
That said, I would like to remind all that this is a NEIGHBORHOOD Forum. I do believe that courteously and civilly expressed opinions related to purely local issues, town government for example, have a place in our forum. It is not, however, the proper place for debating national or statewide political issues, endorsing candidates or promoting controversial political views with origins and ramifications well outside our own neighborhood. There are plenty of places on the web and on talk radio where those views can be expressed and those who are so inclined to forcefully express their opinions know where they are. This is a place where lost dogs get found, where a neighbor’s child looks for what she needs for a school project, where neighbors can ask for help with a difficult task, where local businesses can offer specials to their neighbors and where community groups can get the word out about their activities. It is not meant to be a place where someone who is not a close personal acquaintance can get in your face and assert strong partisan opinion. I hope and expect that it is the expressed will of our forum community that it stays that way.
That said, the opinions expressed above are strictly my own. Our forum is very lightly moderated and I have no part in that process. I am however deeply committed to the success of our Cambridge Forum and appreciative of the benefits that it has brought to us. The last thing that I want to see is that the mechanism which has so united us as a community becomes riven by the partisan ideological divide that has rendered Congress impotent and hollowed out the political center of our nation. I hope that my fellow members join me in keeping our forum local and amiable.