Saturday, July 29, 2006

Pulling me back in...

A year or so ago, I had an experience that changed me. I saw myself in a new light. I have always been outspoken. I usually don't shy away from supporting what I think is good, and I'm pretty much always ready for a fight. This makes me not so much fun at family gatherings (because, HELLO, my brothers are all psycho-Sean-Hannity-lovers). But two years ago, I read about Mayor Rocky Anderson holding a press conference/rally to protect open space on the bench above Salt Lake City. And I realized the open space he wanted to protect wasn't the last section of land by Ensign Peak that hadn't been developed yet, because, there isn't much left. What he wanted to protect was land owned by my little city, North Salt Lake. His attitude was to let the developers continue to destroy the hillside above Salt Lake City, because, hey, Utah is a right-to-build state, and it's pretty hard to tell developers 'no way.' But what he could do was take advantage of the little city to the North, and look like an environmentalist at the same time. Forget the fact that North Salt Lake has it's own Mayor, City Council and Planning Commission (of which I am a member). In his All-Knowing-Rockyness, he could tell us what we should do. So, I went to the press conference. My mayor and my friend Len were there. Then a bus pulled up, and a bunch of people got off. As they exited, they were each handed a sign made for them by the administration. Rocky turned to the cameras and looked like he had a ton of support. Of all the people at the press conference, only 4 of us had been to the land in question. Rocky had been there - my mayor took him. He then proceeded to declare a condemnation order on the land owned by NSL - all the while, people around him are holding signs that say "Protect Our Open-Space." I actually approched one and said that they weren't actually talking about their open space, they were talking about MY open space, and that we had a plan to protect it. Finally, I pulled a David Banner. I got mad. I took my friend's sign and stood next to Mayor Anderson. I heckled him during his speech. My friend Amanda called me to ask if I was there - she heard me on KSL. I waved my sign. I ended up on page B1 of the SLTrib. And I realized that I was right, but I wasn't a lady. Sure, for 15 minutes, I out-Rockied Rocky, but is that really something to be proud of? I felt like a MORON. And then I got over it. I was relieved when I discovered that other things came up first when my name is googled. And life continued to be sweet - Mayor Anderson even announced that he is not running for a third term.

So, this morning, my neighbor comes over and starts calling me a bully. He tells my husband not to make me mad (always good advice, but why now?). It seems that the photo editor at the SLTrib decided to reprint my picture for the end-of-the- road retrospective on Rocky. So, again, I am reminded that it is important to always be kind and respectful. The consequences are long lasting.


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