Moving off the bigdogcrazytrain, I nervously moved myself right smack into the hood. Thinking I might be trading one hideousevilincarnatebipolarindividual for an entire hood of same, Im surprised to find Im thinking clearly and feeling free. Its been a long 5-6 years of no direction or changing direction with him, and it feels great to be a little bit me again without cringing. And, contrary to my belief, Im doing little cringing with regards to my hood neighbors. Instead, I want to move towards some change around here, but Im unsure how to go about it. How do people go about getting consensus, and then weapons of change into the hands of those who can make the changes? Many communities deal with this, but what are all the factors needed to implement change - in thinking, zoning, developing, etc? This is a beautiful area, with large swaths of land that are currently zoned commercial down the main street and populated with hardly thriving small businesses (mainly ethnic food joints that dont appear to have customers) with no jobs available. The residential situation behind this main street is horrible, however, there are stunning old growth parks that are out of use. There are no community activities, yet every other community in town and those that surround my hood, are hosting markets and fairs, engaging developers big and small, for both residential and business. In fact, the local development commission notes all of these factors, and then goes on to say that my hood should remain as is, to preserve the ethnic base that is here. I think that is fine, but it appears to be politic speak for let those bastardsliein hell. Of course, I dont like this. I think its unfairbigotedelistist and all that junk that keeps people down. In addition, the population itself doesnt seem to care. So, in the tradition of Leslie Knope, Im wondering about how to best stick my toes in the water and if you have some good advice.