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Seeking Benjamin Graham 


To Benjamin Graham, just this weekend I read your letter to the editor in the North Coast Journal, (Mailbox, March 9). I apologize if there has been ongoing conversation since then; I have not seen them.

Thank you! Your letter is the first I have wanted to respond to regarding housing challenges. I would like to get together with you, and others who are interested in being a group of community members researching and putting into proposals solutions that can work here in Humboldt County for our particular, and common, problems around housing and community. I've lived and worked in Arcata and Humboldt County for more than 30 years and housing continues to be a problem, seemingly "solved" without a big picture plan. It seems we solve housing a bit like we would putting out a spreading fire — techniques necessary for fighting a fire, but not the best for building infrastructure and housing for those who still need it.

Housing development needs not to be driven only by builders and investors when there is an opportunity to make a profit, or by our fast-moving university development, but also by representation from all kinds of people in our community; people who are thinking of the needs of the students, of those who are houseless, of elders, of current homeowners, landowners, renters and landlords, and who are willing to engage in coordinated and lengthy processes. We need a comprehensive and on-going forum for housing like those who are working on trails, sea level rise, growth of HSU into a Cal Poly campus, health and hunger. 

If there is already a group like this, please let me know! Like the group in Petaluma mentioned in your letter, "citizen assemblies" are worthwhile when followed by continuing involvement and follow-through with actions taken on good ideas.

Please be in touch Benjamin Graham. Anyone else interested?

Judy Sears, Arcata

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