This week we were fortunate to be able to meet with two legislative aids for two district supervisors and learn what it like to advocate and fight for justice from the policy/government side of the coin. It was also amazing to be able to go on the dome tour of City Hall and get a 360º view of the city (at least the parts that weren’t covered by the fog). The most fascinating thing I learned was of the four-foot dry moat circling city hall to allow City Hall to move during an earthquake, remaining isolated from the surrounding earth to try to mitigate the damage.
I also really enjoyed Deland’s talk on sustainability on Thursday, and how there are a variety of issues and potential conflicts to consider when trying to make a city sustainable (e.g., cultural, environmental, political, etc.). It is also interesting that “sustainability” is something that many people say that they want to strive for, but there is no concrete definition or solid end goal, thus making it difficult to achieve or measure. Hopefully, however, the ambiguity does not dissuade people from working towards a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.
On Saturday I went to the food festival on Waverly and fair on Grant. It was a very different feeling and scene compared to during the week, as there were far more pedestrians than normal, as well as many more tourists. It was neat to be able to see the various restaurants have opportunities to market themselves, and hopefully it will help their business. Additionally, it was the youth who were running the booths, so I was curious if the restaurants had donated their food as a fund-raiser or if they were receiving a share of the revenue as well. Plus, it was interesting to see younger Chinatown residents, since during the program we mostly see seniors and/or tourists. Unfortunately, they were all busy so I did not have a chance to ask them questions, but it would have been great to learn their thoughts about Chinatown and its future, as well as whether they wanted to stay or move elsewhere.