The crowd took their seats slowly, grudgingly giving up the moment to catch up with neighbors they hadn’t seen in a while. The formal program of the Fort Road Federation Annual Meeting started off last night with the same kind of connection, a brief talk by former Mayor George Latimer. As Mayor 22 years ago he had butted heads with many of the people in the room who had their own ideas about how the community should develop and proceed, different from the city of St Paul’s big plans. But through a few jokes, salty comments, and heartfelt statements of respect he made it clear – what makes the West Seventh community strong are the neighbors that make it work.
Neighbors, that is, and their connections that become community – something beyond each and every one of us.
Not every city has organizations like the Fort Road Federation to knit together the commitments and connections into one coherent whole that can make a difference. But they should.