A city is a reflection of its residents. If we were to hold up Federal Way’s vanity mirror, what would we see? It would not look like me, but a composite of our nearly 90,000 residents. Collectively, what do we look like? Are we attractive? Smile as we take a community “selfie.”
Don’t be camera shy. Federal Way is a city that is changing in its diversity, economics, influence and potential. I want everyone in the picture. No grumpy faces please. Let’s start showing a collective face that says “welcome.” We are a great place to live, work, play, raise and educate children.
However, there is room for improvement.
Like all cities, we have challenges. Some parts of town look tired. They need to be spruced up. We shouldn’t have to ask, but please take a moment and make sure where you live is camera ready. It is part of the picture and reflects who we are.
Hey retail sector, as I start to frame this picture for all to see, you could use some work too. There seems to be a lot of tackiness out there. Are your customers impressed?
Let us know your tough times are fading. Be positive and show us you are open for business and can meet all needs from the bottom to the top. Start a trend, get a little sassy and upscale. Show us you care. As you gussy up, we benefit and look good too.
Federal Way Public Schools, your grades have been low lately. I know your plate is full. But you are a big part of this picture. How do you say “smile” in 110 languages? We need you to show us your “A-plus” smile. Your challenges are huge but this group photo is not a success until you are at your best. This selfie needs to show the region you are the real deal. Can you put your school spirit into this photo? Show the world what you can do. Make us proud.
Dear Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, where are you? I know you are busy talking business to business and meeting one another at your socials. We could use your skills to help grow our economy. As you help upscale the community, your businesses get better. This is not fantasy football, we need you on the field doing your part and more if this selfie is going to properly reflect you. When you promote our community, we all feel better about ourselves.
Health care professionals and providers, I know you are busy with your new forms now that Obama Care is law.
We come to you in an emergency and annually for checkups. We need your leadership to help our youngsters establish healthy habits and encourage our busy adults and families to eat right, stress less and to keep our seniors active.
You are more than a business. You are our guide to a long life with quality. Help us keep our smiles full and tummies trim. For this selfie to be great, charm us off the couch and get us walking every day. I know you want us to be a picture of perfect health.
Cultural organizations and artists help us by sharing your visual art, musical talents, poetry, story telling, dances, theatrics and creativity.
You provide soul and depth to the community. You need to be heard and seen more. Come out of the shadows and make yourself known. Exposure is good for you.
Media, you are important too. We have the Federal Way Mirror as a weekly rag, but you do not reach everyone.
To get this picture right we need to connect in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and many more. This will be a wonderfully diverse picture — a cultural rainbow. Your challenge is to tell our story. I want this selfie to reflect our diversity and collective strength. Media, can you help?
To be continued: Tune in next week for the rest of the column.
Federal Way resident Keith Livingston: firstname.lastname@example.org.