When Barack Obama emerged as a national presence, his background as a community organizer didn't resonate - at least with many of us.
Obama won two presidential elections. And, still, we didn't have to pay attention to grassroots action.
After all this is America - land of the individualists. We tend to solve our problems, including conflicts with neighbors, unilaterally. In the Southwest, I called the police about the drunken behavior of a new tenant. No, I didn't seek a communal remedy by chatting up the nuisance with other renters.
As a solo whatever, I did the usual things to stop the dog poop from piling up right outside my apartment as well as the attached buildings.
Those tactics ranged from going by myself to the onsite property manager and complaining to checking out other residential complexes where I could relocate when my lease was up. In addition, I analyzed the lease. Was there a loophole I could leverage to exit prematurely without penalty?
In desperation, I shared my distress with one neighbor, then another. A few blew me off. But, enough were concerned. The bottom line on that was that none of us really wanted to have to move. Such a tactic is expensive and inconvenient.
We swapped insider information. One woman had the phone number of the mysterious out-of-town owner of the complex.
Another invested the time to do some private eye stuff. She watched. She videoed. She followed the miscreants to the door. Yes, we were identifying some of the causes of this public nuisance.
A third researched the law. He did contact some attorneys but they demanded a retainer before doing anything.
Yesterday was a testament to the power of collective action.
All the dog poop was collected, bagged, and carted away.
Signs were posted on the entrance of each apartment. The warning was that those who did not pick up after their dogs would either lose the right to house that dog and/or be evicted. The word of mouth was that the videoing was taking place.
I was encouraged.
But, I wondered: Will this last more than 24 hours?
Well, it has. It is about 11:00 AM and not one dog turd is in front of my building or any other building.
Could this be sustained?
I do have hope now that it can be.
So far so good on planning to bunk here forever. That saves me the inconvenience of changing medical doctors, dentists, vets, bank branches, gyms, and support groups. There is also the money I won't be plowing into hiring movers and ponying up for the non-refundable deposit for my own four-legged companion.
In addition, I won't be distracted from operating my communications boutique during this economic boom.
Tilting toward optimism, I am considering spending money this weekend on getting away to the Atlantic Ocean.
Lesson Learned: Never ever go it alone. If the second tier of management in the local bank seems unresponsive, drag along another concerned citizen to go into that branch and complain.
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