since we’re neighbors, let’s be friends

It started as a whisper on Nextdoor.  Let’s get together and march.  Then it was shared and boosted.  On the day of the protest in Denver’s Berkeley neighborhood, hundreds of people showed up to say the names of Black men and women who died in confrontations with the police and observe silence in their honor.  They carried signs and marched peacefully back and forth on Tennyson Street.  It was great to see something so positive come with just a small amount of organization.  Families, kids, police officers, even the neighborhood dogs, were all out to say we’re working on change in North Denver.  For me, the most memorable image was a little boy named Theo riding on his bike.  His sign said, “my name is Theo.  I am your neighbor.”

Our neighbors are coming up with creative ideas in light of Coronavirus and the racism we are finally perceiving.  After three months of isolation from COVID-19, folks are coming out of the woodwork with goodness in their hearts.  They are doing things that are building community.  Between 49th and 50th, on Raleigh, Stuart and Quitman, are a number of artists who are filling the yards and alleys with their creativity.  It’s first Friday in the neighborhood and this is the second month for the Art Walk.  There was live music and neighbors getting to know each other.  Plus, the art was pretty good too.  One woman had jellies, so it even had a little farmers market vibe.  What if neighborhoods had gatherings once a month during the summer months to get to know each other?  

Abby and Orphea had a yard sale.  They brought everything out on the lawn early and ALL the proceeds went to social justice projects like Black Lives Matter and The Innocence Project.  They raised about $600 to help fight injustice. Under this incredible set of circumstances people are digging deep to help when there are so many needs. I’m hoping that every neighborhood and every town and every city is looking hard at itself and what can be done to make this a more equitable country for all.  This is a tremendous opportunity for us to get it right.  It’s also perilous if we get it wrong.  We really need to try harder.  Each one of us. 

I’m also impressed by the resources we have in our neck of the woods.  In North Denver we have The Denver North Star newspaper, the various residential neighborhood organizations and their administrators, and an active group of politicians, non-profits and community minded businesses.  Nextdoor is also a terrific resource for bringing neighbors together.  At this time, it seems overwhelming to absorb all the tragic things going on in the world and feel we can make a difference.  Maybe we can start in our neighborhoods and help those around us.  They can be down the street or downtown. We can reach out to whoever needs help, and we can build from there.   

Another resource just a Facebook click away is Bucket List Community Café.  This is a news, culture and events site that covers the Northside neighborhoods of Denver. We’re keeping up on the issues, events, culture, openings and closings and people who make this part of town such a diverse and interesting microcosm.  The site is growing as more people discover it.  Thanks for supporting hyperlocal journalism in your community. We need more journalism by walking around and listening.  Please let us know how we can better serve you and the community.   It’s going to take each and every one of us to make our communities more livable and fair for all our neighbors.