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Guest Column: New era of TD communication

Hello fellow Dallesians! My name is Summit Storm and I have lived here in The Dalles for about 15 of my 23 years of life.

Like many of us, I have made some serious mistakes in my past, but have learned to mindfully use them as stepping-stones so that I can be a part of a better future, a future where mistakes are no longer narrowly seen as failure but are lovingly accepted as an opportunity to learn and succeed.

A future where people are no longer afraid of transparency. I think the concept of transparency is applicable to all of our current struggles within our relationships, especially those that involve our community organization and governance (both here at home and in the world at large).

The fear of judgement and punishment causes us to hide the hard truths and we convince ourselves that we are unable to communicate them. Because we don’t break through that initial barrier of fear, we don’t say what’s on our hearts and minds. And when we try, it’s so rooted in frustration and fear that the words have little chance of having the effect we envision.

What I experienced while attending the city council meeting Nov. 13 was many good-hearted groups who are active in the community coming together to communicate. But because of the fact that the communication has gone unnurtured for so long, what I witnessed was people with a common cause (The Dalles) with common goals (the well-being of the community) but with words, ideas and visions that were independently formed and had yet to be clearly communicated with the other groups who were becoming involved. From what I understand, this is the first time in quite a while that more than a dozen people have showed up for a city council meeting.

Although I believe city council needs to play its part in establishing communication with local citizens, I can acknowledge my own uninvolvement in attempting to understand, communicate and get involved with the city council and its management and leadership in the community.

I think the majority of citizens, especially those of the younger generation, like myself, have no idea who our leaders are, what their goals are or how they are going about trying to achieve them!

Miscommunication is most likely the most damaging thing to the progress that EVERYONE is trying to contribute to and be a part of. Even though there was chaos, conflict and confusion between all these different groups, factions, organizations, etc., I think that the first layer of ice has been broken, but there are MANY layers to go.

A lot of locals showed up to extend their love and acceptance to the homeless and I hope they will see that we must do the same for everyone involved. Until we come together, the Truth will continue to be broken and these broken pieces are just not cutting it. The desire to possess and control Truth is what keeps us from actually experiencing it.

We also have an overwhelming presence of good people here in The Dalles and more are on their way. Yes, the attitude of our community has been damaged in many ways and is in need of much healing, but it is always easier to focus on what we lack. What I want YOU to focus on is how rich we are in potential and opportunity.

We have a beautiful city with amazing people, all of whom are waiting for this place to blossom. We have new entrepreneurs (young and old) moving and establishing their dreams here more and more everyday. We have an amazing network of individuals who represent the past & future generations.

We have schools filled with wonderful bright-minded students and educators who want to be a part of the renaissance that is taking place across the world.

We have people who have invested their lives in this community and who have invaluable insight and wisdom to help us understand where we’ve come from and where we are going.

We have a mayor and a city council with the desire to understand and utilize new technology to create communication and transparency for the city’s success, but as I said; no one can do it on their own!

So the question is: Can we come together, set aside our differences, overcome our fears and insecurities and overcome the mistakes of the past to bring it all together to create a stepping stone into the next era? I believe it can be so.

I hope that everyone else who’s interested and involved in the well-being of this community will do the same.


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