Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Power of One

So I was thinking today about the whole congestion pricing debate going on in New York (yes I am for it, in conjunction with citywide market rate parking and transportation improvements) and about the politicians who are opposed. Frequently the argument is that it would hurt their low and middle income constituents, which is a statement studies don't support (http://www.transalt.org/newsroom/releases/115, http://www.drummajorinstitute.org/library/report.php?ID=52).

And then I imagined talking to one of the politicians (I'll pick Anthony Weiner, because he's reasonable. So reasonable that he has been the closest to making me second guess congestion pricing), and asking, "Do you really believe that? I mean, have you actually taken the time to go around and talk to them?" and I thought about talking to Letitia James (my rep) and being able to say that I could name the people on my block who support it. And those I know who might be opposed, well I could just talk to them and maybe change their minds.And thinking about that reminded me of "the power of one" - the ability of just one person to make a difference. The idea that if we each go out and have conversations with our neighbors, if we engage one-to-one then we really can make a difference. The "power of one" is a really powerful tool that is so often overlooked by political and environmental campaigns. Sure a big rally can motivate a lot of people - but aren't the people showing up already the motivated ones?

I hope to keep working with my artistic practice, on realizing the power of one. One investigating and expanding our own particular powers to make a difference.

Image courtesy http://www.sethwhite.org/ through whom I plan to live vicariously for a little while....

No comments: