Opinion

Taking a 'selfie' of Federal Way, Part 2 | My Perspective

Keith Livingston - Contributed
Keith Livingston
— image credit: Contributed

Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series.

City of Federal Way, you have some work to do. I know you hit a rough patch with the recession. And when Weyerhaeuser reorganized and reduced its local presence at the same time, it hurt. Companies and people come and go. Cities are stationary entities so they need to be dynamic self-starters.

Show the world your positive personality. Invest in your cultural infrastructure. Show us some traffic flow. Brag about your parks and low crime rate. All entry points need to make a statement. Think destination opportunities. Quality first needs to be your mantra. Let people know why Federal Way is a great choice. Make sure we are ready for a group picture. Make us attractive.

Fellow citizens, now that we have our major players working to make this selfie great, it is your turn to get ready. If you do not know your neighbors, introduce yourself. They may be camera shy, concerned about how they look or unable to converse in your language. Find a way. If we look after each other and provide a positive nudge, all of us will look great in this selfie.

I know most of us spend our day working and the majority of you are commuters. Not much time left in your day to be social or engage in the community. But for Federal Way to be great, we need you. You are our best resource. You tell the world daily about your family, what you treasure, your aspirations and where you live. Your words paint our picture daily.

I know many of us are new here and getting familiar with how to get around and what is where.  You are investing in us and we are grateful. We need your fresh ideas and energy to make this selfie go viral.

For those who have seen the changes from unincorporated to incorporated and have been part of the process, you should be proud of what you helped build. You have been in this picture a long time. Before you congratulate yourself, I ask, are you satisfied with our present appearance and path? I know you helped write a framework for development. How did you do? Did everything you envisioned in the plan get built? What is missing?

This selfie represents your hard work of making a city that serves everyone. For some, change is never fast enough. And a few of you miss the fresh suburban feel of where you raised your families. Going back is not an option. As you frame your answer and remember what was, please realize this picture is reflecting your contributions, community pride and helping us move forward.

Appearances matter. Citizens, for this picture please consider dropping the grunge, comb your hair and wear your dress-for-success duds. We need to show our neighboring cities our best profile. Remember, this image is a reflection of who we are, so it needs to be great. Once they see it, I expect them to spruce up as well for their own picture.

Our picture needs to encourage them to improve. The more we improve collectively, the more attractive we become for new businesses and families.

Growth has been a hallmark of this region. It should be managed and we need to be creative in our approach. Our diversity will continue increasing. The choices we make today for this picture are predictive of our future. I suggest we seek quality in all our choices as we improve and strive to upscale at all levels. Our efforts will go a long way toward making this selfie and future selfies great.

We all have heard that a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Our picture needs to tell our story and reflect the successes of 90,000 residents and supporting cast. We are a community. Are we ready to take our selfie? What do you think?

Federal Way resident Keith Livingston: keithlivingstondesign@gmail.com.

 

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