Bodacious, Blueberry Wine and Bushwacker

The 2030 report noticed a comment I made regarding the process.  If they were serious they would disclose the process used to accomplish one of their basic goals. One suggested a park/recreation facility within walking distance of everyone.

Challenge:  Identify those locations that do not meet this criterion, implement a strategy to accomplish the goal of walkable access, and then talk about how it was accomplished in a broad 2030 forum.

Running from the Bulls or Riding One

The PlaNYC link initially went to civic engagement sight.
It now points to the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resilience

Real and imagined unknowns are part of our embedded information society. Despite the call for transparency and a more open society, government officials, business leaders, and human rights advocates share the mantra of the bull rider that says, “don’t get killed the moment the gate opens“. The preference for advanced knowledge for planning includes knowing that the bull will throw you off regardless. How and why New York City keeps its planning secrets is the stuff of its greatness. Or is it?

There are many ways to look at the advancement of an idea; you can bring in advisors, experts, and consultants to test the bull for weaknesses.  Its most predictable moves that might suggest counterbalances.  A good example involves the members of the advisory council the Mayor’s office used for the 2030 project.  A large group, but they were asked to hear it first, keep it quiet, and begin to prepare their respective constituencies with ideas about radically changing the city to solve problems, meet needs, or produce higher levels of confidence. Knowing or unknowingly these advisors entered New York’s version of a time honored practice known as the run from the bulls. 

Everyone of the advocates for community planning, housing or environmental activism, business or labor, has their own bull to ride. They also have some foreknowledge about successful placement within the arena. They can be part of the crowd or on a balcony above the fray. This is an OK part of participation. It is the burden of either leading or getting out of the way. The observation to make is that it is not always clear which is which.The decision to ride resembles the three most famous bulls in the world. They threw every single rider who attempted to last eight seconds presented metaphorically as follows:

  1. Bodacious – Climate Change
  2. Blueberry Wine – Sustainability
  3. Bushwacker –  Resilience 

Whether the 2030 Plan got called the Olympic plan in a green dress, or the World’s Greatest Bull ride, or the NYC version of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, every resident should be encouraged if one single truth is made clear from the onset — take the increments proposed for change and raise them up by accomplishing one thing.  The truth seems far too illusive these days for short term use.  It seems riskier than ever for decision makers who use the truth and make a change. Raw data on the otherhand, gathered for use by anyone can expose a truth in which all can share. I offer an example as follows:

One person, who is without doubt brilliant and in by Buswacker Class gave us a map with some data recently. As buildings are the single greatest producers of GHGs, and the goal in the world (for now) is to get to net zero have a look at the Emmissions Map by the aforementioned brilliant person Jill Hubley. I can find myself on this map, and someday I might be able to add my emissions data, and in trade get advise on what I can do that I can afford to do for me and the next owner of my home, my city and world.

Face it, all ideas begins the secret of a few before they are shared. This is the essence of all ideas. When they emerge in a public forum such as the 2030 Plan they arrive in a city that will argue its merits on a central principle expressed by this question.  “Will this help make a better life for all our residents regardless of household income?”  Is this the truth? In the work it takes to make it so, a great city like New York becomes one of beauty as well as greatness. 

New ideas must meet this first test of actionable power. It is important to know whether actions to remove dangerous foods and air from our lives or to bring all New Yorkers and the region into a synchronous transportation model are doable.  Try this last thought out for a second.   All of us have experienced the shocking realizaton that the cost running the MTA is a financial responsibility that travels well beyond that paid by its riders.  But, how on the good green earth can does removing the burden that sits substantially on riders alone become a probable outcome?  It seems consensus cannot occur or even be considered without crisis.

We cannot pretend that the burden of financing NYC’s glory in the American sense or its survival in a global sense is the exclusive responsibility of the Mayor, his team or our political representatives. It is every Jack One of us. The simple uncomplicated truth may therefore have nothing to do with the facts.  It is about our absolute responsibility to protect vulnerable families in a vulnerable city because that protection is needed for everyone regardless of wealth.

How long will the simple measures of our accountability continue to be dismissed as truism. The real proof of our work and our time in the making and re-making of this city is to have a measure to value the change.  If this measure is not “people” what could it possibly be?

The hard questions about this responsibility are like secrets. The real test is upon us all to start talking about Bodacious, Blueberry Wine and Bushwacker

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