We did not do a neighborhood walk on the Memorial Day holiday and the weather turned nice again so I accompanied Chief Butler on a walk this past Sunday June 4th in another beautiful Longmont neighborhood and what a great experience!
And after every walk I just know that going down into the neighborhoods (The hoods) that Chief Butler’s “Belonging Revolution” is where it’s at! no doubt absolutely no doubt! when you see the smile on the faces and the feeling of belonging of those we meet and talk to that walking the walk makes all feel they belong that it’s damn straight going to be okay! And having walked the walk practically every Sunday for years you know, really know in your heart and mind that the peoples “Belonging Revolution” does not happen in the meeting rooms. YES, taking the power to the people is where it’s at! our Chief of Police and others of high prominence, persons of power if you will that can change the lives of people are right down yes right down in the “Hoods” with the people! I as a witness know for sure yes for sure! That it doesn’t get much better than that!
And Sunday meeting and sharing with Maria Del Sol and her family who she and her family spoke very little English and meeting the Vietnam vet and thanking him for his service to our country and experiencing with all we met and shared with that someone like the Chief of Public safety (as on other walks with others of power who have walked with us in the past) cares about them and watching them beam from ear to ear! Oh, My that so good! And Mike you da man playing fut bol (soccer) with that little Latino boy right in the street and his smiles told me you made his day!
And oh, my how nice! Since our great Mayor and Great City Council discussions about possible declaring Longmont a sanctuary City I have met and talked to many, many of Longmont ‘s great citizens from all walks of life and all yes all I have met and talked to agree whole hardily with our great Mayor and great City Council members to not declare Longmont a Sanctuary city! All feel strongly that we are already a Belonging Inclusive community! No need to make a political statement that may draw unneeded ICE attention to our great inclusive Longmont. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
BTW Soon next month in July we will begin our 4th year walking in the Longmont hoods!
Discovery confirmed! Every neighborhood in our community (perhaps every community in America) has an abundance of kindness, generosity, cooperation, forgiveness, and the capacity to accept their infallibility. So what does that mean? It means that each neighborhood has enough capacity to heal itself, to care for itself, to look out after each other, to provide for itself what it needs, and can lovingly live with the reality of the human condition in its midst. We found these capacities and attributes so alive and well in the neighborhood we walked last Sunday.
The level of gift-mindedness and hospitality we found was visceral. Along with the gift-centered thinking and a welcoming attitude, we also found a high level of ‘confidence’ that they were, are and could be the authors of their own neighborhood experience. No one was particularly interested in institutional services, guidance from professionals and or paid-for care. How refreshing! How abundant! How alive! How simple!
I also want to say a word about my good friend Dan. Dan does more for our community than anyone else I know. In my mind, he is a model resident. We all know he participates in our Belonging Revolution but did you know he also a board member for several non-profits, mentors young people, is asked to speak constantly at high schools around the State of Colorado, is an advisor to many especially regarding our Latino community, and is an amazing father and grandfather. Historically, he was the first Latino at Large elected official in Longmont, help co-found El Comite, the Hispanic Education Foundation and is the person who helped our community develop a Sister-City relationship with Ciudad Guzman. I know I forgot things. And he does all of these things because he cares about our community. He authored a book entitled, “For All the Wrong Reasons.” Buy it. It is inspiring and in it Dan’s vulnerability comes alive. Since I have known Dan and before, Dan now lives his life “for all of the right reasons!” He does not receive a dime for what he does and I have personally witnessed him refuse money for his services. I love Dan Benavidez and am truly fortunate to call him my friend! And as I talk about the goodness in our community and our neighborhoods, my optical lens is Dan. How fortunate am I!?