If you get the chance to speak your mind to a group of people, including local election candidates, you take it (even if you are more nervous than you should be). With early elections over and local/state elections coming up this weekend, The Daily Advertiser organized an event allowing 13 young community individuals to speak their minds for a few minutes on what's important to them.

Held at the Feed N Seed, a gorgeous Southern-vintage bar, the event had a great turnout and music from two local bands.

We got up and shared our thoughts, ranging from downtown development to the importance of voting, education, bikeability and beautification, with a very engaged crowd. I enjoyed hearing the perspectives and issues Gus, Erick, Tony, Luke, Sabra, Butch, Scott, Kate, Kris, Jason, Britlyn and Cedryl have in regards to Lafayette and our collective future.


I spoke about the importance of beautification and litter in Lafayette, on both a personal and collective level. As individuals, it's important to take enough pride in where we live to not litter it, and as a city, it's important to provide services that allow for public recycling.

Here's the (more eloquent) gist of my speech from last night:
As a board member for Keep Lafayette Beautiful, volunteer with Project Front Yard and the blogger behind Eco Cajun, I’m a dedicated advocate for the environment and sustainability. Community beautification is not an issue of looks, but one that leads toward a change in thinking.

Recycling and trash may not be the most glamorous cause, but simple personal responsibility goes a long way toward beautifying communities, especially ours. Trash goes in cans, recycling goes in bins, and most of our litter goes into the Vermilion River. When you throw something out, there really is no "away". Somewhere down the road, our trash will affect our environment, and it’s up to us whether it’s positively or negatively.

Change always begins at a personal level, and personal accountability is extremely important. I want everyone to take pride in where they live, in their own “front yards”.

It’s not okay to have a trashed community or river. It’s not okay that our roads, ditches and parking lots become trash cans. Personal responsibility is saying, “I’m done with this coffee cup, now let me hold on to it until I find a trash can, so I can throw it where it belongs.” But then again, I’m me, so my idea of personal responsibility is saying, “Hi, can you pour my coffee into my reusable mug?”

My hope is that Lafayette can see expanded recycling service that allows for more public bins next to trash cans; ones that are available any time, not just for specific events. As a city, it's a big step toward beautification and cleanliness. And an RFP that looks at other provider options is a step in the right direction.

My ideal future Lafayette is a clean Lafayette. Beyond the looks, a clean Lafayette signifies a respectful, dedicated, proud group of residents.

Read about on the event in The Daily Advertiser's article!

1 comment

donny* said...

Brrrravo! Expanded recycling service. Yesssssss!

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