In the comments that I wrote in the exchanges around this article on Buffalo Rising (see my earlier post) I was talking about vision. I made a comment echoed by East Side activist Michele Johnson in her article from yesterday on the WNY Media Network website.

My comment:

The problem with Buffalo is that the people with vision can’t seen to get on the same page as the people that can make these visions happen. Revitalizing Broadway/Fillmore into the shopping district it once was isn’t insulting to the current residents, it’s respectful to the people that originally built it that way. A large percentage of the current residents of the east side could care less about the area they live in, which is why the area is in the state of decay that it is. Were the business venturers that redeveloped Chippewa disrespectful to the prostitutes and drug dealers that used to inhabit it?

Michele’s comment:

Im sure people laughed at the pioneers who changed Chippewa and said Why bother? And I remember what Elmwood used to look like, The East Side too will be the Phoenix that rises again!

The Chippewa revitalization is a poster child for vision in my book. Someone said, “Hey – let’s turn the worst street in Buffalo into the most popular destination. I want Buffalonians to associate Chippewa with being fun and hip, not drugs and whores.” That’s vision. People that can’t think more than five minutes in front of them will automatically respond with 50 reasons why it can’t or won’t ever happen. But the key to inacting a vision is to then break it down into small, manageable steps that if carried out effectively will eventually help you reach your goal.

What was done on Chippewa can be done anywhere, including the East Side. The problem is that right now, neither the vision or the plan fully exist. People like Michele can help make that happen, naysayers be damned!

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