Shreveport government today exists as a coalition, divided by self interests, seeking common goals that provide the greatest mutual benefit. This is the nature of the democratic process America invested in through revolution. America has been tested by internal and external strife since that revolution. Now, Shreveport‘s better interests are served by the Dog Park Coalition*.
Shreveport, as well Louisiana and America, are constantly torn apart by the failure of our diverse segments to find workable coalitions that maintain enough common core values to weather the special-interest group tests that have proven to divide us. From Tea Parties to Abortion Rights, from Gun Rights to Mayors Against Violence, the demands for total conformity to values of the special interests force us into corners that cut communications and drown out voices of reason.
The talk of “There is no room to negotiate!” drives the wedge and breaks the patience of citizens who seek a more civil solution to issues that should never elevate the level discourse or rancor to courtroom litigation as Shreveport is now seeing over something as blatantly peaceful as a public park.
Yes, a dog park is a park for people to exercise their dogs off-leash. Yes, it’s a park in a unique part of town, And, yes, it’s a park that by its very nature will be limited to only a small section of the community. But, Shreveport found a new way to unite citizens from diverse sections of town in a coalition to support the dog park! And the group doesn’t seem to be melting away in summer heat.
A park by any other name, would still be a place in the city where people could go and relieve stress, enjoy the beautiful environment of the riverside and enjoy a public experience that is not currently available in a Shreveport public recreation facility at this time. So, the mayor recently opened a half-million dollar park in Queensboro, what was the big deal?
Mayor Glover, City Councilmen, and all Shreveport Citizens should demand that public resources be refocused to build, not tear apart our community. All of you, and particularly Mayor Glover, have lost sight of of the mayor’s original goal of making Shreveport a better city, allegedly “The Next Great City of the South!” It seems the die is cast to do another round of battle in the court system.
So Mayor, we hope you can look in the mirror and live with the image that your legacy may be written by the decisions handed down as a result of your own demands. It may be written in stone at some future date:
“Here lies former Shreveport Mayor Cedric B Glover.
He stood against the Riverfront Dog Park.”
*Definition: A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition can be a joining of ‘factions’, usually those with overlapping interests rather than opposing.