I went to the City Council meeting tonight, just to get a flavor for it and because I volunteered (belatedly) for the Library Board and the Port Commission. I've joked for years about running for City Council, partly as a lark and partly as a way to give back, and figured I could take an evening to watch the system in action. As it happens, this was the final approval of an affordable housing development by Cañada College for their staff and teachers, right near a wealthy subdivision. This provided some great drama:

It's evidently been a long, long process, with 26 meetings in the past 11 months alone, and a complete redesign, but everyone agreed that it was a better outcome for having had to work with the opposition. It was a pretty interesting project between the community college district, Redwood City, and Woodside, involving a transfer of the college land from Woodside to Redwood City, some "horse-trading" (as one of the councilmembers said) involving who gets how much credit for affordable-housing units, and of course the not-in-my-backyard xenophobia concerns and input of the neighbors.

The whole thing generally added some points to my urge to become a librarian and get involved in government, because even accounting for the brutally long meetings, it looks fun, and difficult in a good way, and a tangible way to help the community. The current Council actually seems to be a bunch of genuinely wonderful people, and if they're doing half the good job they appear to be doing, I don't think I really want to replace one of them any time soon.