Harvard / Allston - Getting past the Red State / Blue State mindset

To have any productive discussion about community benefits, construction mitigation, a new master plan, or anything else relating to Harvard and Allston, we really need to come together and all start believing that we have a common interest in the future of the North Allston / North Brighton neighborhood - this includes people in Allston with a variety of interests, past experiences, and priorities, as well as the Harvard employees who are planning Harvard's future campus and the members of the Harvard community who will one day work, learn, and teach there. We also should not forget the thousands of members of the Harvard community that are already here in Allston - they have been largely absent from discussions in the past couple years but are nonetheless important stakeholders in the present and future of our community.

The current mindset (community on one side, Harvard on the other side) reminds me of the traditional Red State / Blue State map. The situation is considered binary and each state is one (Democratic) or the other (Republican) but certainly not both. What is the path for our community to move from this to a more nuanced view that is less about highlighting our difference, sort of like what the Purple America map by Princeton Professor Robert Vanderbei does on a national level?

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