Reinette Senum: A little perspective, new direction is in order
I can’t help but be dismayed by how much we have lost our way.
We should be spending our time and money on restoring our forests, creating fire-breaks as well as emergency drought and water conservation plans, increasing local food networks and alternative and diverse sources of energy, ending homelessness, and creating job development that supports these respective challenges … to name a few.
Instead we have been forced to redirect our limited time and energy from being solution-oriented to fighting the overreach of government and the influence of national and local oligarchs.
Our attention has been dangerously broadsided, by of all people, our leaders and former leaders. We, in Nevada County, have become unnecessarily divided while wasting energy on issues that should not have been issues in the first place.
I can’t help but think about what our community would look and feel like right now if we had taken all that incredible, beautiful energy that has been thrown into political campaigning; canvassing, obtaining signatures, raising money, posting yard signs, and instead directed it towards, let’s say, community, gardens, biking/walking trails, honey bees and solar farms, healthy forest initiatives, water and energy conservation measures, and tiny houses, etc.
Businesses are struggling, there are more homeless and those in need of support than ever before, the forms of revenue that this community created such as wedding/events, cannabis cultivation, and Airbnbs are being completely subverted: all the things that give this community economic diversity and vitality that would keep us healthy, abundant, and financially capable to prepare for the changes coming our way.
Battling over Airbnbs in Nevada City and cannabis cultivation in Nevada County are nothing more than unhealthy wedge issues that should never have made it to the ballot box in the first place. The fact that Sheriff Keith Royal and the County Supervisors could not sit down with their constituents and create an ordinance crafted by all respective parties is inexcusable. Time. Wasted. Money. Wasted.
The fact that the Yes on Measure Y (aka Friends of Nevada City now known as Neighbors of Nevada City) declined to meet with Nevada City Hosts has also forced us to sacrifice even more of our precious resources to fight another unnecessary battle. Both W and Y parties could have prevented this by simply sitting down and having a few conversations and a few productive public workshops.
So, why is it that we can have such small elitist groups of individuals control so much?
The reason so few have so much power has been due to lack of involvement. One that has only recently changed because of the primary election and, specifically for Nevada County, Measure W. Our young people (and new registrants), for the first time, have taken up clipboards and have been canvassing the streets, involving themselves, directly.
Yes, we have been misguided by a few, but the latest trend gives me hope. And that hope is that this campaign-momentum continues beyond this election cycle — because in the end nobody else is going to do what needs to be done, but us. It is my hope that election 2016 becomes the pivotal event that proves to us how powerful we really are. How we can move mountains and that our involvement is what moves them.
It’s time we ignore the red herrings of distraction and actually come back to reality and deal with what lies truly before us. This is where our opportunity and survival lies.
Reinette Senum was one of three elected to the Nevada City City Council Tuesday.
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