Thursday, April 15, 2010

What are You Willing to Do?

By Dennis R. Lieb

There are two events in the coming days that will give West Ward residents an opportunity to shape their own futures. Info for the previously mentioned Lehigh Valley Rail Forum, sponsored by Renew LV can be accessed here. I had problems getting this link to work so if it fails go right to their website at and its the first item under Recent Updates on the right column.

As most people realize, we will not be part of whatever the future economy looks like unless we can move around the region in something other than cars. I won't belabor the should be self-evident by now. Having the legitimate opportunity to help form the vision for our future - whether it be transportation or anything else - requires us to be in much more control of local and regional decision making. This is why it makes the other event I'm promoting so important - even more than the rail forum.

The other event is something I've been talking about with a dozen or so people in the West Ward: participation in something called Democracy School. If you read my West Word article on A Citizens Bill of Rights and are curious
about an organization described in the article called CELDF then an opportunity to hear what they have to say first hand will take place in Bethlehem this Saturday. Info on that event is here.

Normally I would feel an urgency to appeal for your attendance. In the past I'd have cajoled, nagged, badgered, implored (or whatever other term you can conjer up) to get people to these two events. I'm not doing that anymore. I'm going to these events because they will help me to help myself. State and national governments can neither afford nor understand how to make the changes we need here. Many people surely have other plans...some of them are important and some of them are not. If you have the opportunity and are intelligent enough to see that what we are doing now isn't working and want to be part of making the necessary changes to this community then you will find the time to attend. If not I can no longer do the worrying for you.



noel jones said...

Dennis--it kills me that I am going to miss the Democracy School, and if I weren't committed to a show at the same time it would be my top priority.

Everybody else--when it comes to "pulling yourself up by the bootstraps" and "taking personal responsibility" I can't think of a more exciting and meaningful way of doing that than by learning about the nuances of our specific rights under the Constitution and the ability of independent residents to shape their local laws and policies. CELDF borders on the revolutionary, only the crazy thing is, everything they teach is already a right guaranteed to us under the Constitution. Exciting stuff.

David, Carinne, Marty, Larry, Julie, Steve--this is right up your alley!

By the way, you can read Dennis's article on CELDF in the winter issue of The West Word by clicking "Downloadable Documents" on the top right side bar of the blog's home page.

hopeunseen said...


Thanks. I'll be at a funeral on Saturday but what I am willing to do is learn more about the regulatory system and I've just read 'Triage.'


Dennis R. Lieb said...

Terrence and Noel...

Thanks for the plugs. I attended the three-day Democracy School training about six years thing I ever did. Saturday's program is a half-day intro to what to expect if you take the class. They are also considering direct intervention at the local level with whatever community shows up in numbers and exhibits the most need for/concern about local self-governance. Can't think of a better place than Easton to get the most bang for our buck.

Caution: Most conventionally trained lawyers and elected officials are so indoctrinated into the current system it is hard for them to see the merits of something like this. That is why we must do it ourselves and then work through the most open-minded of them to succeed.


Joanne said...

Sounds very important, timely and worthwhile. Tomorrow is community garden day though. Look forward to hearing more.

hopeunseen said...


Thanks. I have to learn more. I'll do some homework and no doubt ask you a bunch of questions.


noel jones said...

Dennis, any chance you could jot some impressions here from the workshop, or do you think it will be better in a new post?

I know a lot of people are curious about CELDF but just couldn't make it on that particularly busy weekend on short notice.