By Ernie McCray
For the opening of David’s Imperial Avenue office
I was asked to read a piece I wrote about our mayor to be,
something to which I took heed and agreed
because right away it seemed like something cool to do to me.
But then it occurred to me
that there ain’t a whole lot of
in reading an essay, ese.
I mean that could be a situation where
boring and snoring
could be used in the same sentence easily,
jokingly and laughingly and mockingly,
grandiosely and dramatically,
and heavily and frenetically
so I thought, well, suppose
I just capture some highlights
of the prose –
there’s certainly a number of those
then I kind of posed
and looked down my nose
at my thinking
and came to the conclusion
that it’s really a pretty nice piece of writing
about a feeling so many of us are sharing that’s extremely exciting
so I read the dang thang,
like it ain’t no thang…
And we had a nice time celebrating the opening of David’s office, by chance on the third day of Kwanzaa (Ujima), December 28th, which is a day dedicated to “Collective Work and Responsibility,” to building and maintaining a community, making one’s brothers’ and sisters’ problems everybody’s problems and then solving whatever those problems happen to be, together, for the good of all. Is that cool or what?
That was the spirit of the afternoon in the room which happened to be next door to the Imperial Avenue Barber Shop, a place that a while back put in more chairs, to serve a community that’s becoming more and more alive. And there we all stood in support of a man who we absolutely know is on our side, a man who has always been one of us, a man we need to help us along this juncture of a long journey towards having some kind of say in the ways of our city.
It felt good just being there, listening to a man speak eloquently about reinvesting in our neighborhoods and ensuring that they’re all safe and non-toxic and inviting, especially when I knew that he’s walking the walk, already on the task. Feet on the ground. Signing the papers. For the people. Us. That’s the part of the story I really like.
As we listened to David share ideas about our need to work together tirelessly to get what’s needed done (which is so in keeping with Ujima), another Kwanzaa principle lay just two days away, Nia (Purpose): to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness – ideas growing out of the need for blacks in the rough times of the 60’s to discover ways to take pride in themselves, to celebrate themselves and their history.
Oh, but “lifting a people up” represents a long struggle, a struggle that seemingly has no end. And I can’t think of anyone in our city more dedicated to helping communities seek dignity and prosperity more than the man who gathered us all together in his campaign’s new space.
I can’t wait to see the “Good Old Boys” days fade away and this other City by the Bay embrace a “New Day” beginning when the name on the mayor’s desk is the “People’s Choice,” David Alvarez. Like in the piece I wrote a while ago: Makes me smile.