Ten Top Tens Day 4
One Of My Top Ten Favorite Moments Ever
This blog post will also break away from the list format but I am really excited to share with you one of my top ten favorite moments, ever!
If you remember, last year I met with Oswego’s Mayor Barlow to discuss accessibility in Oswego as part of my social reform project for social studies. When we met, ironically enough, the elevators in City Hall were down so I couldn’t get to the Mayor’s office. Mayor Barlow was mortified but I reassured him that this was why I was here. Mayor Barlow quickly changed the location of our meeting to an accessible spot: the police station! Oh my gosh, I was kind of nervous going in there (even though I knew that I would have permission to leave - hahaha.)
Once we sat down, Mayor Barlow and I had a very pleasant discussion about some of the concerns for the lack of access to parts of Oswego. We talked about how difficult it is to get into the movie theater and some shops. We also talked about the challenges of wheelchair-friendly parking and crossing the street without curb cuts. We talked about how it would be nice to have parks for kids with and without wheelchairs could play together.
During our conversation, Mayor Barlow took careful notes and shared with me his vision of a more inclusive Oswego.
I know you all must be jealous of Oswego: our mayor is really one of the best and is one of the most ambitious and friendly people I have ever met. He is so unlike many adults, who turn a cheek or believe that kids don’t know enough to make an impact.
Anyway, flash forward to almost a year later: The very first accessible playground was built for Oswego! It has an adaptable basketball court (the hoop can be raised or lowered), ramps leading to really cool playground equipment, an adaptive swing and soon there will be mats on the ground instead of wood chips. There was a really incredible Ribbon Cutting Ceremony where members of ARISE, Oswego City Council, Oswego’s DPW, Oswego City Police and Firefighters, Oswego Industries, and members of the community were all present. There were speakers representing those teams of people. The final speaker was introduced by Mayor Billy Barlow as (yours truly) Courageous Chloe! What an honor!!! I was the final speaker and I even got to cut the ribbon! I will tell you that cutting that ribbon with those giant-sized scissors was one of the most fascinating things I have ever done! And that is why I am including this event as part of my Top Ten Top Tens.
I would like to publicly thank Mayor Billy Barlow for including me on this project of amazing and positive transformation. Mayor Barlow is truly a leader among leaders. I know there are many more changes that lie ahead for Oswego and I believe that those changes will have a ripple effect - other towns will be following this example when they seat how it brings this community together. Thank you to IHeartOswego - Home | Facebook for the amazing pictures!