I went to my first City Council meeting tonight! And I spoke! I even brought visual aides! It was all about recycling. I couldn't believe it, nearly 20 years after doing recycling drives at school, there was some city still so behind the times that they needed a recycling pep talk!
So I stood up there, with my week's worth of recycling in a basket and I told them that unless I schlepped this across town to the recycling center it was all going in the land fill because the city's contract with Waste Management did not allow them to pick up recycling from apartment complexes, condos and the like. There was actually an audible gasp of disbelief in the audience! I went on about the thousands of households in Wenatchee and you multiply my little basket by that and calculate each week and it's a LOT going to the land fill. And I told them how the renters were ready to do this, the landlords wanted it and Waste Management was willing and able to do it too(I've called around and done some research here), but they were the only one's not on the recycling band wagon.
They clearly loved my presentation. I was scared. I practiced it several times because several years ago I was asked to present at an EPA hearing and thinking I was just dandy at public speaking, I didn't prepare.... and boy, that is a memory that stays with you!! Also, I only had 3 minutes, which many who know me will be surprised to find out that my initial presentation actually lasted just that long! I practiced. It was a good presentation and I was even funny. But when my three minutes were over, they told me that they had just amended the contract with Waste Management Corp and single stream recycling was on it's way already to every apartment complex in Wenatchee.
So part of me, the part that spoke, said "Congratulations! I'm am very happy to hear the city is making progress on this. I cannot wait to get my recycling out of my kitchen. Very well done and you have my full support." But there was another part of me that was sad that my persuasive speech was not, in the end, necessary. No one needed persuasion. They all already agreed with me and had implemented my ideas before I'd even showed up! But I congratulated myself for taking the risk anyway (silently of course).
Then I didn't know how to leave. I did want to see the workings of the City Council. But after an hour, I was bored out of my gourd! I didn't know what they were talking about most of the time, and they didn't seem to know either, actually. It was a parade of attorneys and accountants. I left after an hour. It was hard get out of there discretely and I'm not sure I succeeded, after all I was still toting my week's recycling.