Organizers in Cedar Rapids have worked for months on ways to draw attention to the anniversary of the record flooding. But one group of neighbors say what the organizers have put together sends the wrong message. The home Jon Galvin and his wife lived in now sits empty and they will never sleep there again.
Galvin is vice president of the Northwest Neighborhood Association, and says just thinking about people celebrating the River Renaissance this weekend makes him a little frustrated. "We’re not going to celebrate, not going to put up any fancy boycotts or pickets, we just aren’t going. We got no reason to celebrate," Galvin says.
Galvin said while some Northwest Neighborhood Association members might want to picket, they won’t. He said that’s partly because they say the Governor’s office called saying any moves like that could paint the wrong picture of recovery. Doug Neuman of the Cedar Rapids Downtown District says it’s not a party, this is a time to reflect and come together as a community.
Galvin said everything focuses too much on downtown, and not on the neighborhoods."As far as we’re concerned, what’s downtown? All that I know of that I go to is the furniture store," Galvin said. Galvin says the time to party is when most of the homeowners are settled. Neumann said if we don’t draw attention now, it’s a lot easier to be forgotten.
Nuemann says, "We are raising a lot of money for flood relief, acknowledging that we are a year into what I think will be a decade long process and we need to raise more money to get us back to where we need to be." River Renaissance organizers say they tried to strike the right tone between what people have lost, as well as what they’ve accomplished.