Building Unity and Diversity

Burien Is A Diverse Group
We have a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs that make up our community. We are all part of a community we call Burien. Does this divide us? Not if we also look at ourselves as each one a part that makes up the whole. Yes, we are a diverse group, making Burien one of the most desirable places to live. We are also Burienites.

Burien Neighborhoods
We all live in one of 18 neighborhoods, which is the foundation of our entire community. We are Burienites no matter what group, or groups, we identify with. Even if you do not identify with any specific group in Burien, you still belong to a neighborhood in Burien. Can you name your neighborhood? Can you name all 18 Burien neighborhoods? Why should we care?

Excitement about our neighborhoods’ potential isn’t hard to understand. Neighborhoods–whether in cities, suburbs, or small towns–are the level where people interact most regularly and naturally. Neighborhoods provide a ready-made forum for tackling problems like traffic, crime, or social alienation that seem too daunting to address on the national or municipal scale. Even in communities where there are no pressing troubles, the neighborhood remains an ideal setting for important work such as restoring a park, enlivening a business district, or boosting an inherent “sense of community.” Let’s see the possibilities of learning to know each other.

Here is one example.

Building A Neighborhood Community for 1500-years
Look at Siena, Italy. The city is about the same size as Burien in population and has almost the same number of neighborhoods. No other city in the world has a stronger neighborhood community. Each neighborhood has its own crest or logo. Each year they celebrate with songs, food, drink, parades, even a 120-second horse race twice per year, where each neighborhood competes for fun. Poor neighborhoods are joined with wealthy ones to build their community. While very diverse, they join together to celebrate their neighborhoods. Burien can learn from Siena and build something even greater.

Here are Siena’s neighborhood flags or logos next to Burien’s.

Hello Shorewood, Salmon Creek, Beverly Park, Southern Heights, Boulevard Park, Ingelsea, Evansvale, Seahurst, Chelsea Park, Highline, Maplewild, Lake Burien, Downtown, Sunnydale, Three Tree Point, Gregory Heights, Five Corners, and Manhattan. Let’s try to get to know each other.

John L. White

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