Submitted by Bob Warfield.
Lakewood United (reborn) met March 30 at Pierce College, a truly impressive small college campus; and institution, in case you haven’t traversed Far West Drive lately. The meeting, “Zoomed” to possible attendance of several thousand, was attended by less than twenty, including one member of the Clover Park School Board and one from the Lakewood City Council.
Under leadership of LU Board President Lisa Boyd, and the presiding presence of board secretary Cheri Arkell, the fulsome inaugural agenda sought nourishment from a “stone soup” of ideas to attract determination and participation in the wider affairs and concerns of “community” – a city perhaps, blessed of promising vital civil discourse and of attentive children, their education toward custodial inheritance of all that’s good or promising about American governance and Constitutional ideals. Those hifalutin terms were held in reserve, but that’s what was sought. And, definitions and descriptions aside, isn’t that what we all want – safe streets, prosperous prospect and bright over-achieving children, inspired and brimming with creative daring in a peaceful world.
Noted was past success with neighborhood associations, a newly organized mentoring project for youth through the “Family Y,” origins of city-hood and the beginnings of our Boys & Girls Club, now the Gary & Carol Milgard Hope Academy. Numerous other significant events and achievement could be added, all having found germination or nourishment through Lakewood United. While the organizational value and endeavor seems unquestioned and its many campaign ribbons well-earned, Lakewood United, like numerous organizations striving toward recovery post-covid, faces growing head-winds from a climate-change onslaught of dispersing social-media fragmentation. This phenomenon, coupled with the increasing tempo of perceived necessity, whether job, school, household or family, all de-“contextualized” by the “fierce urgency of now,” tends to drift us further apart from traditional notions of the community we seek. Associations are increasingly transitory, families tenuous and addresses temporary. As worlds become smaller, the distance between us grows, and connections to what matters diminish or fall away, often forgotten.
The challenge for Lakewood United, indeed for us all, is to renew the vitality of our village, to re-connect, be concerned, belong – not by Facebook, tik-tok or chat, but through meaningful touch, kinship, neighborhood, church, temple, mosque, garden club, PTA, union, charity, service club, scout troop, book group. Lakewood United wants to help, to re-weave community, recognizing a fundamental truth of human nature and rudimentary need: that civil society cannot flourish without some interdependent vibrant interest beyond self and 5G. And that a shared construct of informed social interest enjoined of democratic resolve remains essential to the village upon which we ultimately all depend.
So, what is the one thing that you believe would make the biggest and best improvement possible for Lakewood? Doesn’t matter what. If you’re serious and have given thought to your idea, tell Lakewood United: email@example.com. Also, say what you are prepared to do to help. What is your commitment to the task you propose? The best ideas, or those most urgent, will rise to the top. And together, we can get it done.