Tuesday, March 13, 2012

PERCEPTION OR REALITY?

by Lynn Costello
Agenda 21 has become mainstream and is no longer considered a far right conspiracy theory.  Citizens in small towns and large cities watched as planners and committees molded their communities affecting individual life choices, property rights and picking winners and losers in the business sector.

This has been achieved by mass marketing the “green” propaganda which promises purity in the environment, healthy families and “planned” living.  It is this perception that sells.  In “Creating a More Sustainable Vancouver 2009” you will find the following statements:

·       “Transportation Options:  Increase the percent of residents who perceive that the available sustainable modes of transportation in Vancouver meet their needs.”
·       “Ability to Meet Basic Needs:  Increase the percent of residents who perceive that their needs are being met for: counseling, emergency food, shelter, employment services, substance abuse treatment, etc.”
·       “Empowerment:  Increase the percent of Vancouver residents who feel that they have the opportunity to voice their concerns in the city on major community decisions that affect their lives.”

In light of this awareness and the actions of alert citizens in speaking out the American Planning Association has come out with a “Glossary for the Public.”  The introduction states “Given the heightened scrutiny of planners by some members of the public, what is said – or not said -- is especially important in building support for planning...when talking about planning and its value to the community, keep in mind the messages APA developed several years ago that emphasize value, choice, and engagement.”  It goes on and describes how to frame the message in a more acceptable manner and to tell stories that we can all relate to.  This is simply an updated version of the “green” propaganda.

Reality Clark County (realityclarkcounty.com) will attempt to keep things real in Vancouver and Clark County.  In the meantime, stay alert, look behind the curtain and remember, they’re “just words.” 

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