Thursday, November 19, 2009
A Re-thinking of Roanoke's Priorities Organized
Three Roanoke activists who are among the new media leaders in the area have finally jumped into the political fray, but without party affiliation. It’s an effort to create an active citizen base in the Star City and it’s being called rethink Roanoke.
The organization is being led by Legal Aid lawyer and new journalist Hank Bostwick, Beth Deel of MyScoper and upUpPeriscope and Jeremy Holmes of Ride Solutions.
Says Bostwick: "People tell me that maybe at no other time in recent memory have the grassroots and netroots been so active in Roanoke. Every night in the Star City one community group or another is meeting, organizing, entertaining, or educating," says Bostwick. "An energy emanates from our City and people from all walks of life are starting to feel it."
Think Roanoke’s founders stress that they will work across party lines to create an open forum designed to spur creative commitment to civic responsibility regardless of party affiliation; so long as citizens understand the power they have to shape their communities, the group will be a success.
"We want participation," says Holmes. "We understand that, at the local level, party politics play a very small role. At this level, our leaders are also our neighbors, our coworkers, our friends and family members. They should be chosen because they are the best qualified to address the problems and opportunities that face us. But first, we all need to talk about and decide on what those opportunities are."
To get that discussion started, reThink Roanoke is organizing its first Star City Summit on Tuesday, December 1, 2009, at The Water Heater, 813 5th Street SW in Old Southwest Roanoke.
Those attending should begin to gather at 7:45 p.m. with the forum to start around 8 p.m. More information is available at rethinkroanoke.org, reThinkRoanoke.org or the reThink Roanoke Facebook group.