Longmont City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Brian Bagley walked with us this past Sunday. You talk about gregarious! Wow! Brian was very engaging and very helpful and informative in our contacts this week. Brian is also beautifully fluent in Spanish – amazing! We also discussed a role our elected officials can play with these walks. With ONLY the intention of getting to know people in our community and giving them a safe place to express their perspective, our elected officials could be a major contributor to our Belonging Revolution and could actually be restorative in their connections with our citizens. It is an indelible experience on the part of those we meet to know a City Council Person cares enough to hear their voices and is interested in their well-being. We also talked our walks being fertile ground to recruit people to volunteer for our various boards, commissions and task forces. Talk about powerful possibilities!! Double WOW!
Brian, Mike and I walked an older neighborhood on the East side of Longmont. What was different about this particular neighborhood, compared to most we have walked, is that most of the homes were owned by the people who lived in them. Everyone we spoke with was quite eager to talk and to let us know their opinions about a slew of topics. Everyone was upbeat about their neighborhood and our community. And, while we keep saying this over and over again, people truly appreciated our presence, our time and our willingness to hear their stories. And when we talk about our Belonging Revolution, it just resonates with people and they want to part of it as well!
Carlos, Brian and I had a great conversation about his neighborhood in Spanish. Mike kept asking, “What are you guys talking about?” Carlos went on and on about his history in Longmont and in this neighborhood. Carlos was very willing to volunteer to help out in the future with concerns our community is facing. Amazingly strong and confident personality. Carlos also shared with us that he was so very proud that he had became a U.S. Citizen almost 6 years ago.
Scott lived in Longmont for 35 years. He now helps with the caretaking of his parents who live in Longmont. Scott works for the St. Vrain Valley School District and had great perspective about our community.
Drew, his wife Sarah and their son Roman were quite delightful. Both Drew and Sarah want to be involved more in our community and gave us their contact information for the future (As did everyone).
We spent quite a bit of time with Charlie on his front lawn and fortunately in the shade (the sun was warm.) Charlie asked Mike if our police had enough resources. Mike’s offered Charlie a perspective about police/community balance and suggested that the gap that exists between community needs and police resources should be filled more by our community than our police. Our Belonging Revolution is alive and well as we invite and recruit scores of people to make investments and to be co-owners in our community. Charlie already serves on one of our boards and would really like to be contacted about future discussions. In fact, he was very eager to be more involved and appreciated our request!
There were not as many out in this neighborhood as we have seen in others. But the conversations were rich and informing.
We are now almost 4 months into a new walk year and I cannot help but look back and think how extremely fortunate I am that Mike asked me to walk with him as it has become one of those life altering events in my life. And I recall what Maya Angelou said and I quote her “People will forget what you said, what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” And I ponder so often on how our walks have made me and those we have met and talked to feel so very good, that our walks are for all the right reasons and as each day passes I more, and more feel that yes I DO BELONG!!! In this beautiful caring Longmont Community!
Thank you again Longmont Council member and Mayor Pro tem Brian Bagley for accompanying us on our walk.