I attended the community forum meeting on September 25th and left feeling like a dialogue had been started, but that it’s going to take some time and the cooperation of everyone to return Second Saturday to its original vision.
It was clear that the meeting was more about mid-town Sacramento in general and less about Second Saturday, but I do feel we were heard.
At the beginning of the meeting, forms were passed out for us to write down our concerns and list possible solutions. Different stations were set up that addressed specific issues. Some of these were parking, safety and special events. We were instructed to tape our form at the station that best represented our reason for attending the meeting.
Eventually a panel was presented to publicly discuss and answer some common questions. The panel consisted of representatives from the police department, the Midtown Business Association, Neighborhood Services, the city's parking department, and the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control).
There was a lot of discussion in regards to parking and alcohol abuse. It’s obvious that this is not just a Second Saturday problem, but an ongoing concern of most residents.
When the topic of Second Saturday came up, many suggestions were made including, changing the times, eliminating amplified music, and requiring that street vendors be juried in. A detailed list of issues of concern and suggestions covered at this meeting can be found here: Community Forum.
Like I said at the beginning of this, I feel like a change will slowly happen, but I hope it’s not too late.
This past Saturday was the first Second Saturday since the events of last month.
Officials estimated that attendance was down 25%, but there could be many reasons besides fear for those numbers. There was a lot going on last Saturday including the members preview opening of the Crocker Art Museum and the "Sammies Block Party" happening right down the street from our studios.
I do believe we will find out next month though, that the fear generated from the media about Second Saturday is going to keep a lot of people home with their doors locked. I hope I am wrong, but I did have a conversation Saturday night with someone who told me when she mentioned to her friends that she was going out on Second Saturday; she was asked “if she was going to wear her bulletproof vest”.
I am going to choose to have faith that the people of Sacramento will decide that they are not going to let violence and fear rule their lives. It’s sad that this is the way the world is now, but common sense and awareness not only help minimize the risk of going out on Second Saturday, but also helps keep you safe the moment you get out of bed in the morning.
We are all free to choose how we view life. If you make decisions based on fear, I believe you miss out on a lot of the beauty and wonder that still exists all around us.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes by Albert Einstein: “There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” You decide…………………