Only, I’ve come to realize that’s not true. I’m not saying we’re all as great as anyone in the history books. I’m saying they weren’t as great as that either. Neither were they bad. The truth is they were just like us and they managed to make our history.
I’m thinking this because last week I went to yet another public hearing in Kirkland about the proposed redevelopment of Kirkland Park Place. This was the third one I’d attended and I learned that it was the 27th hearing on this topic to date. No one can say the planning commission isn’t thoroughly vetting public opinion on this one. The public hearing room is not large – about 100 seats, I would say. It was full on Thursday evening, as it has been in the past, but still 100 people is not many and not everyone spoke at the hearing. Those who did speak each got 3 minutes to make their case for or against the proposal before the planning commission and, at some point, based on that input the planning commission will make its recommendation to the city council on whether to go forward with the proposal. Already, though, the public input has had an impact on the project. The scale model the architect presented at last week’s hearing incorporates many of the changes citizens have requested at past meetings. And so, assuming the development goes forward, what gets built will reflect the input of ordinary citizens.
This whole experience with Kirkland Park Place has led me to one major realization: history is made by those who show up.