When I started iLoveKent.net in 2009, I did it to showcase some of the great people, places and things in Kent, Washington. I wanted to show the rest of the world, or at least South King County, that Kent has a lot to offer — from basic shopping, dining and recreational options to deeper values like culture, diversity and creativity.
Over the years, my passion for Kent has grown, and I’ve tried to reflect that in the pages of iLoveKent.net and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ve done this as a service to the community, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I will continue to provide this service because I believe in Kent, and my readers have shown that they believe in Kent too.
But my mission is evolving and I want your help. Kent needs us now, perhaps more than ever. Over the last several months, we’ve heard about fatal car crashes, missing teens, vandalized stores, closing businesses, shootings and other crimes. Financially, our city is in danger as well. Businesses are being asked to pay more to run the city, the city is cutting valuable services and programs, and job layoffs continue. With so much going on, particularly at election time, it may seem like we as individuals can’t make a difference…but we CAN and we need to! Our city needs us, our schools and businesses need us, and our neighbors need us.
Many of you are already active in the community. You volunteer at school or church, participate in local government, or serve as a mentor or board volunteer somewhere. Those contributions continue to be important, but I think we need to do even more — at the most basic level, we need to look out for each other. We need to report burned out streetlights, call 9-1-1 when we see suspicious vehicles and erratic drivers, and need to avoid unnecessary distractions when driving, biking or walking through town. We need to remember to be kind and compassionate, pay attention to our surroundings, and clean up after ourselves when out in public. While these may seem like minor actions, each time we help someone else in a small way, it adds up to big change and a safer, more secure community.
In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll use iLoveKent.net to share ideas and resources with members of the community to show you ways you can help. I welcome your suggestions and comments as well. I don’t have all the answers; together we do! Let’s show Kent we care.
Caring for our community,
Dana Neuts, Publisher
[Pictured above, right: Kent Fire Department at Kent Cornucopia Days, 2012. Photo taken by Dana Neuts.]