JWG (jwg) wrote,

World Cafe

I was invited to participate in a Cambridge City Council sponsored event called World Cafe which occurred last night. Its purpose is to help the City Council set goals for the next two years and they are trying to involve various community organizations people. I was invited because I'm the co-chair of the GLBT Commission (the other co-chair was supposed to come also, but alas he forgot.

It was a very well run event. There were about 80 people attending. They had a good facilitator and the setup was to have a bunch of tables with a table host to take notes and keep order. After some introduction he said, OK find a new table - each table is the right table. So we did and people talked for a half hour about issues that Cambridge faced. Then the facilitator said - find a new table and do it again. The table host of the new table summarized what had been said by the previous group and to no surprise the topics were pretty similar. Then we did it again at a 3rd table. Then each table host summarized the three "conversations" and the facilitator summarized the summaries on a big chart.

I was quite interested in the process because next week the GLBT Commission and the Mayors office are hosting a Town Meeting to discover GLBT issues. The first one of those 4 1/2 years ago was quite interesting and one of its outcomes was the formation of the GLBT Commission and setting the priorities for it.

Some of the subjects were: Schools, youth activities, infrastructure, foreclosures, seniors being able to stay in their homes, community building, balancing development which produces traffic and messes up some neighborhoods while helping the tax base, dealing constructively with the million pound gorillas: Harvard and MIT.

The two councilors who were the chief organizers asked for additional input and I am in the process of composing some email to them.

It'll be interesting to see what comes out of the sausage factory.
Tags: cambridge, local politics

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