When I walk out the door in the morning, on my way to work, our dear family friend and frequent babysitter for my 11-month old often says: “there goes your mama, off to make the world a safer place!” My daughter doesn’t understand, of course, but it always makes me smile or blush, or both.
Safety, security, protection, defense—these basic requirements for happy, healthy communities come in all different packages. I’m not a police officer or a soldier. There’s no Sightline uniform or badge (if you don’t count bike pants); we’re not “packing heat” (unless you count rubber band fights in the office or…our blood pressure when election results come in). But I do get to come to work each day helping make sure that elected officials and policy champions in the Northwest are armed and ready with solutions that not only protect families like mine from toxics and pollution, but at the same time, ensure lasting prosperity and opportunity in our cities and towns in Washington State and the region.
So, yes, our friend is right; I do try to make the world a safer place. And I’m thankful to have a community like Sightline’s that supports that important work.
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We’re producing top-notch research and communications that move the region toward smarter, more walkable cities; more efficient and affordable houses and buildings; better transportation systems; and clean energy sources that will never run out, like wind and solar. This is the work that will make Seattle, Bellingham, Bend, Portland, Vancouver, Pasco, Spokane, Eugene . . . all the cities we love . . . as vibrant—or more vibrant—in 5 or 10 or 20 years—and will ensure that our kids have good jobs and good health in this area when they grow up.
I feel lucky to be working toward solutions—especially when the challenges sometimes seem overwhelming. And the stakes I attach to Sightline’s policy work shot up—through the roof—for me when I became a mom (you can see evidence of this in my “sustainababy” blog series where I chronicled my pregnancy and my experience of early motherhood through a sustainability policy lens). I mean, it may be a clichÃ©, but moms—all parents—suddenly find their inner fierceness about safety, security, protection, and defense. No joke. And Sightline is fierce that way too.
Nowadays, concepts that I used to be able to grapple with mostly in the abstract—like air pollution, toxic storm water runoff, food safety, and even the threats of global warming—are very real. There’s no better reminder how real than my daughter’s innocent face as she smiles and waves goodbye to me out the front window.
I would do anything to protect her. And I know if you saw that face, you would too (see photo). But you have your own families to think about: kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, partners, colleagues, neighbors, friends. You have yourselves to think about! Each of us loves the natural places and communities in the Northwest for our own reasons. You believe in sustainability solutions because you care about the people you know and even the people you don’t know. Sightline works every day toward progress that protects everything we love.
And, the only way we can continue to do that is with your support.
We are in the middle of our annual fall fund drive—a time where we ask our readers, subscribers, friends, and families to make a financial contribution to help fuel Sightline’s work. We don’t ask very often. But today’s the day. Please place a value on the resources you enjoy and make a gift. We can’t do this work without you!
Photo courtesy: Anna Fahey.