Stacey's Web Page
Better Together: Restoring the American Community
About Me
Fall 2005
Claim of Fact
A Fist in the eye of God
Concept Formation: Attributes Dynamically Inhabited From Conscious Awareness
Women, Sex And Darwin
Pedagogy Of The Oppressed
Neurology Summary
Emotional Intelligence
The Intellegent Eye
The Allegory of the Cave
Psychology From A Culturec Perspective
Thinking Styles
Who I Am, How I Learn
Winter 2006
Claim of Fact
The Sane Society
Rethinking Primate Aggression
Domination & Subbordination
Blaming The Victim
The Social Construction of Reality & Stigma & Social Identity
Economic Justice: The American Class System
Deconstructing the Underclass & Constructing Race, Creating White Privilege
Citizenship as a Source of Obligation
Better Together: Restoring the American Community
Imperial, the Highest Stage
Imperialism 101, Shooting an Elephant & The Gentleman of the Jungle
Spring 2006

Schiefelbein, Stacey

Winter 2006

182 F Rhodes



Better Together: Restoring the American Community


Why is Portland socially more active?

How much does one person have to do, to make a difference?


            A sense of community is the key to any successful group of people. Now, I moved from Nebraska in 2002 to Portland, and between the two cities, there is a huge difference in sense of community. In my neighborhood in Millard (the perfect suburb outside of Omaha) we had an association and everyone knew everyone in our neighborhood and their dogs. But that really was the extent of it. You didn’t wander outside your neighborhood and you sure didn’t protest in the streets. Nebraska tends to be very quiet people that like to bitch about how they don’t like anything and how they don’t want to do anything to change what they don’t like.

            Then I moved to West Linn (another perfect little suburb) outside of Portland and found it similar in the sense of neighborhood associations but a complete one-eighty on the quiet and not doing anything about what they don’t like. Since January of two-thousand and two Portland has had so many protests I’ve lost count. Portland has  had so many changes because of various protests. It’s pretty astonishing to me to see one person get together with another and another and so on and so forth and change something for the better. I think it is fantastic.

            Why is Portland one of the most active cities in the United States? In my opinion its several reasons. One of them being the fact that Portland and its surrounding environment is beautiful, and we has humans want beautiful to stick around, so we keep it around by doing what it takes to maintain beauty. Secondly, I believe people of like characteristics flock together, because like I’ve stated in past papers, people want to be comfortable in their surroundings. Thirdly, could it be that the diversity of Portland has to do with some of it. Portland as a whole is extremely diverse, no one is the minority ( yes in some sections of town it may be heavily populated of one culture) so people don’t feel inferior so they are willing to voice their opinion without the fear of rejection.

            What does one individual have to do to make a difference? I think progress is contagious. Pick up trash in the park, other people will see it and do the same, and before long half the city’s population is recycling and taking efforts to save the environment. My economics teacher was talking in class the other day and he said something very valid, he said if you are interested in something, get a book on it and find out what it is really about and then peruse it. I think that is what Portlander’s are doing.  They are interested in environmental issues, personal rights, and well anything else you can think of. A little gesture goes a long way in a contagious city like Portland. Smile at a stranger, watch them smile back, I bet they pass it on.

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Stacey Schiefelbein