Ben Bartosik

March 12, 2024

Reading an article this morning that talks about how turning the struggle for safe streets into a culture war is a lose-lose situation. The author's point is that you won't get anywhere by demonizing the large majority of people who drive. He instead argues that the goal should be drawing the circle of empathy big enough for as many people as possible.

"Every parent has fear that their teenage kids won't make it home alive. Every parent fears putting their baby into the car seat in the back of the car. Everyone with elderly parents fears finding out that they have been involved in some kind of traumatic crash while behind the wheel...

Everyone wants the street in front of their own home to be safe. Start with that. Here are all the ways your street is designed to kill people. When you show people, they get it—and they get their part in it."

I remember reading a similar idea around activism that suggested drawing your 'line of division' in such a way that gives you the most allies as possible. This is something that progressive causes just do not seem to understand, often pushing for full agreement on an issue before collaboration. We need to draw a larger circle.

This seems especially true when dealing with multisolving opportunities in which we are trying to rally multiple issues around a shared solution. Not everyone is going to be aligned on every aspect of all of those issues, rather we must paint a picture of a better future that the most amount of people can agree with. Embracing a new spirit of collaboration across our differences will be the defining value of the coming decades.

I hope.