I typically steer clear of any political views in The Perspective, but having just watched President Barack Obama take the oath of President of the United States, I should acknowledge that perhaps, the most coveted piece of property this week was anywhere along the parade route or in National Mall in Washington D.C., where MILLIONS of heartfelt citizens vied for space and the opportunity to gather together to celebrate the change of leadership and to honor our first African American President - a fitting tribute, one day after The Martin Luther King Holiday and 46 years after Dr. King's, I have a Dream speech was immortalized in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
I grew up in Sacramento in the 60s and 70s in a fully-integrated school system and never gave much thought to color. My life and environment was not simply dotted, but heavily saturated with diversity. As I matured and entered the workforce, my friends, classmates and colleagues have seamlessly represented every ethnic, religious and sexual orientation - much to my benefit and growth.
However, it occurred to me while watching the presidential inauguration, and the many memorable and moving faces within the crowds, that change which was once forcibly mandated by law, has now been voluntarily embraced by choice.
No where is that concept more evident than here in Oakland and Berkeley where blended families seem to be the rule rather than the exception. On any given Sunday Open, I meet people from every walk of life and they echo this sentiment in our discussions.
Oakland/Berkeley/Piedmont proudly serve as home to a kaleidoscope of nationalities, experiences, and beliefs. Our unique community isn't a color-blind society - it's a color-RICH society. (Isn't it the differences in texture and colors that make a patchwork quilt truly vibrant?)
These are indeed historical times. Like the many participants and well wishers that came together this week to share a sense of purpose, I am looking forward to profound changes - not only in Washington D.C. - but throughout the entire county. With renewed hope, I anticipate and embrace remarkable and profound changes ahead for all of us.
Let me remind you that I will be donating 10% of my net proceeds to the charity of your choice after the close of escrow throughout 2009!
Julie Gardner, referred to as, "the pulse of Piedmont," has been writing The Piedmont Perspective for 9 years.