RAINE HOWE | Truckee

I woke up on Nov. 7 having gone to bed knowing who was president, but not sure how Measure J fared. I turned my computer on to find a headline from the Sierra Sun that included the word “shun,” which made me sick to my stomach. Actually Measure J was not shunned. It passed by a simple majority – but as most people know it needed a super (two-thirds) majority to pass, and it did not.
As someone who is deeply committed to performing arts for Truckee, I was disappointed. But I was also prepared for this outcome for a number of reasons. The first being there was so much at stake for the general election that people might not have been willing to explore issues beyond the most immediate. The second being in this economy people are pulling back on spending at every level, despite compelling reasons for the need for these projects and the economic benefits in the long run. The third being that if one or both of these projects did not speak directly to voters (ie: I am a swimmer or I enjoy performing arts) then voters were not moved to mark “yes.” What a shame. I voted ‘yes’ for Proposition 30 (statewide school tax). Even though my kids are out of school, I care about the generation that is still there. I think we all hoped people would look at Measure J’s big picture – including much needed positive economic impact for Truckee – but that did not happen.
I love democracy because we all get to talk about what we want for our community and our country, and then that community and country gets to weigh in on our great ideas. I was part of the Tuesday evening phone banks and spoke to many community members when calling about supporting Measure J. It was enlightening and at times entertaining. I believe that everyone on the Measure J committee did a terrific job of explaining (on the phone, in mailers, on the website, and in person) why these projects were worth funding. But in the end, not everyone agreed with our collective reasoning. I take a deep breath and say, “It’s OK.”
One of the best things about the Measure J campaign was getting “the Pool People” and “the Arts People” to join together in this effort. How cool is that? I can say that Dan Kates, (ie: Pool Guy) is awesome! His daughter and her pals are great and were there every night phone banking. They spoke about performing arts with the same enthusiasm they had for the pool they wanted. As we move towards deciding what to build (performing arts center or aquatics center) with the funds TDRPD has in reserves, we are much more likely to do so in a way that is respectful, understanding, even supportive. I am prepared for the same level of compromise on this issue that many Americans are expecting between the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. That is part of our democracy – from Measure J to who is president. We live with those results, we respect them, and we move on. While we may be disappointed that Measure J did not pass, it is not the end of either project. We will work together to find ways to serve both constituencies. We can do this Truckee – Yes we can!
Respectfully submitted,
Raine Howe



~ Howe is the Executive Director of Arts for Schools.


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