Sustainable Newark 2010-2011 — Group’s issues being addressed by secret society

newarkFor a short time last year I covered Newark in addition to Fremont.  Like most people, I did my best to ignore the place, but I was drawn to a rag tag group of residents who were fighting a tax measure and seemed to equate the disappearance of their campaign signs with the Jonestown Massacre.

I wrote about them forming Sustainable Newark in hopes of challenging the Yowza Consensus that runs the city. But it’s hard to fight City Hall when one of your “leaders” has more complexes than the Beijing Olympic Village.

Mercifully I stopped covering Newark, but I stayed on the Sustainable Newark Yahoo Chat Group, which had provided me countless chuckles over the past several months, but none better than what you’ll read below. Because, really, no citizen group should ever dissolve itself without first considering whether to reconstitute as a sex club.

Here’s the email heard ’round Cedar Boulevard:

The meeting was called to order.

The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

The Lewis’ email arrived on a smart phone and was read to the group as a communication.

A discussion ensued, and it was unanimously agreed that since a private membership or secret society appeared to be addressing the issues Sustainable Newark had been established to address, that Sustainable Newark was superfluous.

A motion was tendered to dissolve the group, and seconded.

An attempt was made to amend the motion by suggesting the group reconstitute as sex club. The amendment was not seconded.

The motion was called, and passed unanimously.

Sustainable Newark is officially dissolved.

The Lewises deserved better. So did a loud guy from NYC, who just wanted some damn crossing guards and made me feel like I was home. But what’s done is done, so here’s another recent classic from the same person explaining the dissolution:

UPDATE: Sustainable Newark is dead, but it’s being replaced by the Newark Improvement Group. Should be fun.

BTW – why is it like clockwork that individuals who don’t bother to come to meetings always pick the week of the meeting to complain about what other people don’t know?

I’m a little tired of what appear to be deliberately disruptive and destructive tactics:

– People who’ve left town because they can’t stand it any longer and who have decided they cannot effect change who then contact the newspapers and complain about the tactics used by those who have stayed behind – and make personal attacks on group members in their interviews.

– People interested in everything under the sun except local issues.

– People whose only presence is here on the list where they do nothing but complain about issues, other individuals, etc. and do not participate in any meaningful way in the group efforts to change the city.

– People whose main interest seems to be either not having their feelings hurt, making only changes that benefit them or their neighborhood.

I think that we should take a vote tonight and see whether or not to dissolve the group since it is clear that only five or six of us are actually interested in stopping redevelopment, improving schools, attracting manufacturing and other enterprises that pay a living wage, and preserving Area 4.

It is becoming horrendously clear that no one is interested in running for office – or if they are, they aren’t interested in telling the group about it.

In other words, this is beginning to feel like an organization for civic improvement in a place where people don’t really want any improvements because improvements mean change, and change can mean moving out of one’s comfort zone.

Meanwhile, redevelopment, wetlands destruction, the decline of schools and property values all continue apace while nothing gets done.

Matt Artz