There are a variety of topics about which people disagree, it’s only human nature. Taxation, development, religion, government spending—the list could go on and on for eternity.
While some shy away from controversial or sensitive subjects, it’s our job here at Tucson Local Media (and should be at every other news agency) to gravitate toward those subjects. The current financials at the Oro Valley Community and Recreation Center, comments made by a county supervisor some people found controversial, Marana developing its own animal-control agency or any other subject have all recently found spots within the pages of the Explorer and Marana News for the same reason—it’s local news, relevant to your local community.
As the staff covers these stories, we meet more of the people that make northwest Tucson the wonderful place that it is (and a place I have lived most of my own life). While most of the new people we meet every week quickly become friends and community contacts, there are those that make a much different impression.
It was appalling to hear a person call Oro Valley town staff crude names at the park bond open house earlier this month. It was disheartening, and outright confusing, to see area residents call for a boycott of Oro Valley businesses in response to possible annexations. And some of the rhetoric surrounding the bond election has bordered on outright disrespectful. Find a better way to express yourself than to tell kids to pay for their own fields—at a certain point you’re only hurting your own cause.
While I know that many (if not a majority) of my readers are members of a different generation than most of the staff, I always remember one of my first kindergarten lessons when I am around someone with a less-than-pleasant attitude:
“Treat people how you would want to be treated,” my teachers and parents would tell me. Some people call it The Golden Rule. To me, it should be considered common sense.
Want people to vote your way on the bond? Don’t build your rhetoric on anger or excitement. Build it on the facts. I know many people believe that an emotional appeal is the way to win over minds, but local voters tire easily when their emotions are under constant assault. A “yes” vote does not make you a champion of children, and a “no” vote does not qualify you as an arch villain.
Not hearing the answer you want to hear at a public meeting? Instead of angrily shouting at a municipal employee or an elected official, have an adult conversation with them. Facts never change, but your interpretation definitely can—regardless of the issue.
This is not a declaration of a “feel good” millennial philosophy of mine, but rather a way people can better discuss and resolve their disagreements. Because that’s the whole point, isn’t it? While there is a small group of people in any situation who wish to only find a perceived controversy or wrongdoing, coming to better understand “the opposition” can only positively impact your own point of view. Disagreement and compromise are two of the foundations of governance (and society) and a bit of empathy goes a long way. You always catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
Want to see what happens when people band together for a good cause, rather than rile up anger? Look no further than Emily Dieckman’s story about a local group assisting dementia caretakers. When two people realized the difficulties of caring for a loved one with dementia, they created a revolution of community love and caring, for the betterment of all involved.
The aforementioned Naranja Park bond will remain part of our coverage as we move ever closer to the Nov. 7 election date. Will Oro Valley receive millions for additional parks and, as a result, its first property tax? Your guess is as good as mine at this point, though if our Voices section is any indication, the community has a lot to say about the matter. Thank you to everyone who has sent in a letter to the editor, but don’t stop now. Mail-in ballots are heading to your homes in two weeks.
Elsewhere in this week’s edition: Village Bakehouse is among the businesses honored by the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce, Marana Health Care celebrates 60 years, Marana High School squares off on the gridiron against Canyon del Oro High School (Go Dorados!) and freelancer Christopher Boan tells you how Gerhard De Beer traveled from South Africa to Tucson and ended playing for the Wildcats football team.
We can’t fit every bit of news into print every week, so make sure follow our Facebook pages (Explorer and Marana News, respectively), our Twitter feeds and visit tucsonlocalmedia.com for the most recent and interesting bits of news from around north Tucson. And don’t hesitate to send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.