Social Connectedness / 2013
How about creating Sister Blocks, where the richer parts of town partner with the poorer parts? It would be hands-on, where real people would get to shake hands and listen to each other’s stories. If this were a happening thing, it would give affluent people a simple way to be volunteers, where it wouldn’t be a big decision for each individual about which organization to give themselves to, but the group nature of it and the widespread practice would make it a natural for many people to participate. One of the unofficial ways I “give” is to the people who work for me, who clean my house and do my gardening. I am generous to them beyond the fees they charge for their services. When you know people personally, if you are of a generous nature it is very satisfying to help them. This would be the same thing, writ large and systematized. So, let a block from Beverly Hills get to know a block from South Central, with the idea of seeing how they can help. Facilitation would be needed at the start. And meeting places, like schools or banks or community rooms. But it is so simple and so doable and could be so far reaching, even creating a model program for the rest of the world.
What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?
Flying under the radar, I have been a sort of underground for progressive thought, where some of the people at the edge have inspired others of us at many salon type events I’ve held. My blog, called “Making Sense of These Times,” reaches thousands. My mission is to influence thought to where we rethink our worldview, and without having names, like projects might, I have fostered a community of thought whose interactions have led to things of note. I’m stepping out more publicly now producing a TEDx event (www.TEDxWestHollywood.com), where the intention is to deliver a body of talks that could activate people who want to change the world.
Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.
I am the coordinator for a new TEDx branch, www.TEDxWestHollywood.com. TED looks for new ways to make impact and this would be something I think they could promote all over the country. And I personally have been a hub for progressive activists in Los Angeles, with years of salons at my house and other productions in larger quarters catering to leaders of thought, so I have many alliances. Should this project be accepted, there are many collaborators that could be enrolled.
Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?
Success would be evident by the obvious buzz of strangers becoming people who care about one another. I just want to say how awed and thrilled I would be if this old idea of mine actually saw light of day. I have felt the power of it and have not had an opening to deliver it before. I am not doing this for the award, where I was all right about my own money helping it to occur but could not find the partnering. If this happened I would feel like I made my life’s contribution to ushering in the new paradigm of connectedness that we so need.
How will your project benefit Los Angeles?
It would, in simple hands-on fashion, create a connectivity in Los Angeles that would be felt everywhere and cost next to nothing.
What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?
An air of cooperation would prevail. Fear would have subsided, with needier people knowing they were in a caring world. Hunger and homelessness would not be in play. Everyone’s basic needs would be met. And the care of those in power would have raised the standards of everyone to where people could lead productive, successful lives, and social mobility would be the order of the day. People would know they were in a system that was watching out for them and rooting for them.