Regular folks are using Front Porch Forum to get the attention of local media and elected officials. Some examples:
1. Neighbors on the ONE Central Neighborhood Forum have several interesting threads going recently. One is about the state of the new beltline bikepath… trash, homeless folks, human waste, and various ideas for making it all better. Lots of good input and ideas. Relevant officials are tuning in. Mention of a grant for fencing. Progress?
2. Meanwhile, just up the hill a bit, the ONE East Neighborhood Forum has been focused on college-student noise in this residential neighborhood. Frustrations have been aired, the problem defined, history provided, solutions proposed… and now an official response. The City of Burlington and UVM issued a press release outlining all that they already do on this front and what they plan to add… a step in the right direction. One subscriber writes to his neighbors:
This Forum is the first time people have had a vehicle to express their thoughts, make suggestions and actually have an impact on a variety of topics; but it has been very interesting to see how local officials and social activists are reacting to the ‘elephant in the room’ – indignity over student behavior and the determination to put and end to it. This is an elephant, by the way, that has been in the room for decades now.
3. And the remarkable situation of city council Democrats lining up behind a Republican for council president, rather than a Progressive… several people have made their voices heard to their neighbors and councilors via their neighborhood forum. In fact, the Burlington Free Press almost mentioned Front Porch Forum in its April 8 article:
[Councilor-elect Ed] Adrian explained why he is voting for Wright in a message he posted on the Buell Street Neighborhood Forum. He said Wright, a state representative as well as councilor, has more experience than Ashe, would offer a balance to the Progressive administration of Mayor Bob Kiss, would be fair, would be unable, as one of just three Republicans on the council, to “stack” council committees, and, Adrian pointed out, Democrats, even with five of them on the council, don’t have a candidate for president this year.
[Councilor Joan] Shannon justified her vote for Wright in similar terms in a message posted on the Five Sisters Neighborhood Forum.
(The material referenced for this article should have been attributed to Front Porch Forum, rather than (or in addition to) the individual neighborhood forums.)