This weekend I decided I wanted to change a rule. To do it, I realized I could write a persuasive letter. I’ve learned from Lucy Calkins that “writing can change the world”. I wanted a small part of my world to change. So I drew on all I learned from TCRWP Writing Unit of Study to write a persuasive letter to the rule keeper.
Here’s the background of the situation:
My parents, back in 1966, were active members of their neighborhood homeowners association. Within a 10 mile radius of their neighborhood, there were community pools but they all had a wait list. My dad suggested at one association meeting that this group build another pool so his family and all the families in this neighborhood would have a place to swim in the summer time. After lots of meetings and reaching out to the community to persuade people to buy into this idea, High Point Pool was built. My dad has since passed away and my mom now pays her annual dues at the single, senior rate. She rarely goes to the pool but she will stay a member. How can she not? High Point Pool is the place she and my dad helped to become a reality.
As I reflected on the pool this summer and all the wonderful memories spent with our pool friends at High Point, I got am idea. Next summer, the Summer of 2016, will be the 50th Anniversary of the pool. My mom, now 80 years old, and three others were original members and today they still belong to the pool. My idea is that the Pool Board could propose to offer these original members an Honorary Membership. They could change the rule and no longer charge them dues.
Here’s the letter I drafted, revised, edited and sent to the High Point Pool Board:
Dear Mr. Moschella,
I am writing to to you, the President of the High Point Pool, about an idea I’d like you and the Pool Board to consider. I feel strongly that Honorary Free Lifetime Pool Memberships be offered to those who started the pool 50 years ago. Without their efforts, no pool would exist today on Woodland Drive.
I will admit that I am biased in suggesting this idea. My mother, Mary Anne Stallings, along with her friends, Mary Francis Moriarty, Cindy Chase and Nancy Schneider, were all original members back in 1966 and were instrumental in creating High Point Pool. Sadly, they are the only still-living original members. Along with their spouses, these women took the risk to chip in their hard earned money and convince a bank to help them build a neighborhood pool. They sat through many meetings and made many phone calls and persuaded many others to join this venture. Now all four remarkable women are widowed and all are on a fixed income and all continue to dutifully pay their membership dues. They do this despite the fact that their visits to the pool are more infrequent. When I ask my mom why she still pays her pool dues, she simply replies, “How can I not? High Point Pool is the place where your dad and I made the dream of a pool into a reality.”
I will blog updates if/when I hear back from the pool Board.
And I plan to use this writing of mine as an example of how persuasive writing might change a rule. And I’ll point out that if the idea is never written down and shared, it never will.