Jane Jacobs described the life of an average community as a “ballet”— from the mundane collection of garbage to the gathering of school walkers; from the opening of a Main Street store each morning to the communal spirit of volunteer associations; from civic involvement to community spiritual worship.
Likewise, as America entered the post-World War II world with stunning changes afoot, Reisman, Glazer and Denney wrote of “The Lonely Crowd”— about how traditional-based communitarianism gave way to increasingly” atomized,” inner and other-directed pursuits away from the community.
As Scot Peck noted, we heal others while healing ourselves by inclusion, not isolation.
As we fast forward beyond William H. Whyte’s seminal “The Organization Man,” written in the year of my birth to the first real modern snapshot of the new pre/post-20th century community in America captured clinically but powerfully by Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone,” we realize here in North Hempstead with increasing urgency that community cohesion is key.
Being a North Hempstead councilperson is not simply the avatar of the community; she is a steward, a Sheppard, and a facilitator for a sound policy that preserves community strengths and assets.
Social critic/journalist David Brooks in his new “The Second Mountain” and elsewhere carefully reviews a new national movement called” The weavers”. Brooks says: “ Renewal is building, region by region, community by community. And it spreads and spreads as the sparks fly upward”.
Our councilmanic district is a community in sync with the best of Riesman’s traditional communities and defies much of Putnam’s accurate dystopian reality reporting about the state of community today.
One of the “weavers” in our community is Marianne Contino Dalimonte.
Travel through the byways of this district and you will see as I and many others gave: there seemingly is not a person whom Marianne Dalimonte does not know; there are so many who she has helped through her leadership of the Port Washington Business Improvement District; she is respected in her church, in her block, and in her affinity groups.
Politics and governmental leadership have been polarized into Us versus Themism about class, consciousness and money. Marianne Dalimonte has none of this ethos. She serves. She leads. She helps.
The purpose of politics in a democratic state is to allow for the clear free expression of the will of the public through the exercise of their voice, vote and free access to participation.
A healthy polity is led by the likes of the Marianne Dalimontes of the world because it is based on neighborliness, friendship, service, community and shared values. There is so much brightness in this woman’s service and candidacy. And that is why I and many others will be voting for Marianne Dalimonte on Nov. 5.
I have watched Marianne Dalimonte ‘weave’ communitarianism effortlessly; because she has a wealth of relationships and the ability to listen, speak and emphasize as a true Weaver.
Weavers coalesce around a cause, an association and a goal. Weavers weave community with one issue at a time, and one small group at a time.
As we know, this is how rugs and tapestries are made. A “ Weaver” is the very best of America. A “Weaver” is the soul of what Lincoln called “ The better angels of our nature”. Marianne Dalimonte is a Weaver—and a great American.
Jon F. Weinstein