Last month's Harvest Moon in SLC. Sept 2013.
Because I only ever lightly planted both feet in Boston, I was never invested in getting involved and helping to make that city a better place to live. Maybe that makes me sound like a complete jerk, but let me explain. It's not that I was intentionally reclusive when it came to community involvement, I just never felt the pull to join any sort of groups working to better that city.
Now that we're back in Salt Lake City, though, I'm completely nerding out on getting involved. Sure, a lot of my eagerness to be a part of this community can be chalked up to the excitement of being back in the city I've pined for for three years. And I also think owning a home (rather than renting) adds to my desire to help facilitate change as I am more invested in helping make my neighborhood a better place to live. So when my very active, community-involved neighbor (and now friend) asked me to join her for a focus group on bettering downtown for women, I jumped at the chance.
I thought our luncheon on Tuesday was geared more towards moms living in downtown Salt Lake City so I sort of prepared myself for that type of group and that type of discussion. But when we walked in and introductions began, I realized that I was in a room full of powerful and influential women all of whom had an interest in seeing changes in our city. There were business owners and restaurateurs and retail shop owners and managers of major downtown developments and public health administrators.
And then there was me. Mom to Alice. Wife to Lee.
I didn't feel out of place but more honored to be involved with such a group. Our discussion was insightful, thought-provoking, and lively. We talked about ways to increase walkability, ideas for increase safety for women working, living, and playing downtown, and then we talked a lot about the seemingly worsening homeless situation. And if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the photo evidence I posted showing how this situation is directly affecting my little family. But more on that another day.
There are plans to continue these women's-centered focus groups and I hope to be invited again to join in on the discussion of helping to better the city we call home.