Tonight the second reading of the [partial] Ridge local historic district was defeated.
If we are going to change over the city councilors to be more favorable toward preservation, we also need to change the minds of a large section of citizens of Newburyport who still, even with all the facts before them, don’t fully understand how vital historic preservation is to the cultural and economic health of the city.
This means that proponents need to be fully versed in true historic preservation, and more importantly, the practical application in our community. It also means getting hands dirty, in such things as passing out flyers, making contacts and being persuasive.
To be persuasive, you need to be fully versed in the benefits, the need and the reasons for historic preservation. This means also coupling it with all the skills of diplomacy and tact. It requires conviction and passion.
All this takes the sacrifice of talent, time and resources.
This week alone there are three full-building demolition requests looming before the Historical Commission and with the horrid signal from the councilors tonight, it will only get worse this year.
If we don’t make the effort, there won’t be a future for our beloved city.
A hard slog is before us but we will have victory.
“I am in earnest
I will not equivocate
I will not excuse
I will not retreat a single inch
And I will be heard.”