I did my little three minute speech with the City Council tonight and I tried to say something that no one else wants to say: Have a goal.
Of course, everyone seems to agree that there is a problem. But one thing you’ll notice very quickly is that no one in power will tell you is this: what is their GOAL. No one will commit to an end game. No one at the state, county or municipal level. Which I find troubling to say the least.
Let me start by saying that I am working for the next generation because I’ll be honest, I feel like there is little relief that I can realistically provide for -our- generation, ie. current homeowners and businesses. I’m fighting for our kids and for the long-term future of Des Moines because otherwise because there is no short-term strategy. Let me say that again: there is no short term strategy–except to move while the economy is still (relatively) good. And I am not moving.
So I believe we must have a goal. And as outrageous as this will sound, I know what my goal is: Reverse noise and pollution to levels -before- the recent runway re-surfacing.
Note that I did not say ‘slow growth’. I said, my goal is -reverse-. As audacious as that may sound, I believe the only truly sane course is to do what the federal government insisted upon years ago with auto makers: LOWER the amount of pollution generated by cars. Not slow the growth. Lower it. And a funny thing happened: Those demands, which seemed so ‘impossible’ at the time, magically came to pass.
Not to sound hyperbolic, but we -must- start demanding LOWER levels of overall noise and pollution or else our town will be forever lost. That is not hyperbolic, it is, in fact, the only rational course of action. If we do not act now, decisively, like the movie says, “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon…” the only people who will want to live in Des Moines will be people with the least amount of money and thus the race to the bottom in South King County will continue.
We must reverse this trend. We must make Des Moines a destination; a place that young families, those who have choices, -choose- to move to. The irony is that, if you take away the Airport, the natural beauty of Des Moines makes it an ideal place for families. It’s the reason my generation, and many generations before me, moved here. Let’s keep it that way.