Northern News

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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

Director’s note: Finding time to be thankful

By Jonathan Schuppert, AICP, October 14, 2020

As the days get noticeably shorter, I start to reflect about all that has happened this year and everything I want to accomplish before 2020 ends. The year has been an eventful one for all, and it will undoubtedly live in our memories forever.

What will we remember about this year?

When you look back at 2020, what do you want to remember? When you think about it now, what stands out?

For me, this has been a year of constant change, a year of division, a year of adapting, and a year of reprioritizing our lives and our values.

And while none of us can or should forget or ignore the global pandemic and those who’ve suffered or died from it, the critical shortages in our supply chains, the horrific videos of injustices and killings, massive unemployment, multiple natural disasters, and the everyday stresses we face in different ways, I’m taking some time just to be thankful.

  • I’m thankful for the opportunity to reflect and rethink my priorities.
  • I’m thankful we have the technology to tap a few buttons and carry on a conversation with friends and family from all over the world.
  • I’m thankful for the creative solutions to transform our streets and other public spaces into safe, social, and socially distanced places.
  • I’m thankful that people are appreciating the outdoors more.
  • I’m thankful for the learning opportunities I’ve had about systemic racism and that I’ve had the time and platforms to help move the conversation forward.
  • I’m thankful for the innovative ways people have figured out how to work, learn, and be social from afar.
  • I’m thankful to be in a profession that is about thinking ahead, envisioning a better world, and creating the tools and strategies that will get us there.

It’s all too easy to think of the many negatives associated with 2020. What’s harder, and what helps round out the perspective, is taking the time to think about and reflect on this year’s positives.

So take a moment and reflect. What are you thankful for in this chaotic year?

VOTE (safely)!

This election year looks very different from years past. Candidates take the debate stage surrounded by plexiglass and at a distance. Massive voting campaigns interject on every social media platform. And with everyone registered to vote in California receiving mail-in ballots, it has never been easier to vote, vote early, and vote safely. You can even sign up for ballot tracking so you’ll know when your ballot was sent to you and received by the registrar.

You’ll also soon receive voting information to elect the next Northern Section Director-Elect and Administrative Director. It’s all digital, so there’s no need for that prepaid envelope to cast your votes!

Return to the November Northern News here.