When’s a gate not just a gate?

When it’s ajar! (Get it? A JAR? I know, that’s an oldie…)

Emily Strab at the Gate at King Park

But no, really, when is a missing gate not just about the gate being gone? It’s when that gate is located at a park where preschool children play every day. It’s when that park is on a busy street that police cars race down every time there is an emergency call. It’s when the gate not being there could allow for tragedy.

That’s what several parents were concerned about this fall when school was back in session and the gate was inexplicably missing. You can read about the details of restoring the gate in this article from the Hyattsville Life & Times, but the reason I bring it up is this: sometimes solving issues takes persistence and reaching out to the right person for help. In this case, the right person wasn’t a council member, but city staff. Sometimes, as a citizen of this city, we can’t take “no” for an answer.

It’s not that I think that the city needs to bend to our will just because we are tax payers. We are all responsible for stewardship for our city. As a community, that gate is the responsibility of every single one of us because we owe it to each other and we owe it to our children.

Sometimes a small issue like a gate can mean a great deal to a community. I think part of me knew that when staring at the gap in the fence irked me every day. What I didn’t realize is just how big a deal it meant to people who had felt defeated at the word “no.” It was natural for me to work at this problem from another angle when the first result was not satisfactory and I’m glad for our community that I didn’t quit. On May 7th, 2019, please allow me to continue to be a problem solver for Ward 2 and a steward for the city of Hyattsville by electing me to the city council.


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