You might find this hard to believe, but growing up I was a SUPER shy kid. I could barely look an adult in the eye and might have died of a heart attack if a teacher called on me and I had to speak in front of others. This was not a good outlook for a young girl in New Jersey. I got trampled plenty. So you'll be glad to know that with some time, confidence, and maturity I evolved into the stubborn outspoken person that I am today. These days I just need to remember when to put my filter on.
Recently, there have been a few local instances where concerned citizens have come together for a common cause and their voices have been heard by the City of Kirkland. I wanted to share these with you, as examples of leadership in our community and also as opportunities where you too can speak up....
Right now over 40% of the Cross Kirkland Corridor (CKC) is slated to be shared by bikes and pedestrians. The master plan is scheduled to be approved soon, and once finalized will be difficult to change. Have you ever been on the Burke-Gilman on a busy Saturday? There's some serious high speed traffic funneling through there. Citizens like Karen Story helped rally Kirklanders to give their input and push for a divided trail on the CKC- one path for bicycles traveling at speed and another for walkers, joggers and kids on bikes.
Based on this feedback, the Master Plan will now show a divided trail in the Highlands Pass area. Transportation Engineering Manager David Godfrey said, "The city is still looking carefully at other areas to make the best recommendation on how the trail should be configured and how it can evolve over time." So now is your chance to speak up if this is something you care about! You can email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org . Get on their list serv and Facebook page to stay current. And there's the first of a series of monthly meeting this Mon 1/27, 12-1pm, City Hall/Council Chambers.
You voted for it, so here they come. Since only two outlets will be allowed in Kirkland, the details clearly still need to be worked out on WHERE. Multiple applications have been submitted for marijuana dispensary sites along Market Street, so the controversy is now whether these dispensaries should be in such a residential area, where children are walking to/from school or in a more commercial zone, which can better handle parking and traffice. And then there's the question of whether state-wide intiatives can trump local ordinances in situations like these. City council wasn't hearing much on the matter until local resident Kirstin Larson started learning more and sharing information with neighbors in the Market area. Kirstin says, "As a community, we have a responsibility to help the council find smart, safe, well-lit, commercial locations in the City of Kirkland for dispensaries. Early decisions about what dispensaries look like (businesses instead of homes) will set social norms within our state." A groundswell of concerned citizens showed up at last week's council meeting, identifying themselves with yellow scarves, and capturing enough attention and concern to spark the City Council to write a letter to the Liquor Control Board, and consider an emergency initiative to disallow marijuana on all or part of Market Street. So, the door of discussion is open, but public input is still needed- if you don't speak up, you can't assume others will do it for you. The next council meeting is Feb 4th, go share your thoughts or wear a yellow scarf. Can't make it? Email your council at: email@example.com.
Thanks to all of you that take the time to be leaders in our community and speak up about issues that you are passionate about. ~j