The energy of Edmonds | Mayor's Corner

By Dave Earling | Sep 18, 2016

Ever heard of "Edmonds Moms"? How about the "BID" (Business Improvement District), now known as “Ed!”?

What about the Diversity Commission or maybe the Highway 99 Sub-area Plan? And just as important, do you know what these groups are about and what function or benefit they provide?

The few questions above are not intended to make you feel smart or foolish; they are simply meant to make you aware that this community is always churning and evolving ... with new groups, new directions, new ideas, “new stuff.”

Sure, we have all heard of, and many of us belong to, longtime beneficial civic groups such as the Noon or Day Breakers rotary clubs, the Chamber of Commerce or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

What would we do without the Rotary Clubs, Lions, Soroptimists, or the Kiwanis, all of which have national ties? These organizations sponsor a seemingly endless list of programs and activities, such as student scholarship opportunities, restored eyeglasses and community events like the Waterfront Festival and the annual Edmonds Jazz Connection Festival.

Besides working to enrich the business community, the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce also provides important community events such as A Taste of Edmonds, our 4th of July celebration, the tree lighting ceremony and the new clam chowder competition, all great opportunities for the community to gather.

And then we have the good work done by the Edmonds Arts Festival Foundation, the Historical Museum with the Saturday Market, as well as the beautification efforts of the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club. And there are so many others.

But what about the "new stuff"?

While the Edmonds Moms Facebook Group may not be on your radar screens, the last time I checked this online group had more than 4,600 members!

They communicate about important community issues like being sure word gets out about the city's recent purchase of the 8-acre Civic Field and its master planning process and the important influence moms (and dads) can have on reshaping the future of this significant central open space.

They also act as a community bulletin board, if you will, for suggestions on such things as local health-care providers, school resources and sport team signups, as well as promoting children's charities.

Certainly a great example of how one group of residents can organize into a powerful and effective voice for the community.

And how about Ed!, aka, the Business Improvement District? This group often moves quietly behind the scenes, but with a very focused agenda. Formed a couple years ago, with very hard organizational work by local downtown businesses, this group works to promote the downtown core.

Their work includes providing the green umbrellas that have been such a welcome addition on rainy days. Have you noticed the new directional signage in downtown? Again, provided by the group. They also help with advertising on regional buses and elsewhere and with special promotions like Christmas in Edmonds when they organize the holiday trolley.

They bring a new energy, which is a welcome addition.

The Diversity Commission, appointed by the mayor and city council, has been in place less than a year. This energetic group is laying the groundwork to be certain we understand, appreciate and embrace the diversity that exists in our community.

They also will provide educational opportunities to promote inclusiveness, which, in turn, will benefit us all.

The Diversity Commission, Ed! and Edmonds Moms are three outstanding examples, public and private, of how our community continues to evolve, change, churn and mature as we identify and implement new needs.

These new influencers and others, along with the already existing "institutions" mentioned above, bring to Edmonds a sense of stability and maturity, while acknowledging that communities do need fresh new perspectives.

We grow, we accept new realities, and the vitality moves us forward. The end result is an Edmonds that remains well founded in its past, yet is filled with a healthy, dynamic energy many other cities may still be yearning for.



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