Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Daily News: The Woman We Need

Philadelphia Daily News chronicles one citizen’s persistence.

When the National Park Service shelved its plan - temporarily, at least - to install a 7-foot-tall fence behind Independence Hall, much of the credit went to elected officials who voiced strong opposition to the plan.

But it was a Chestnut Hill woman who rallied the troops to halt the ill-conceived plan. For Ann Meredith, a mother of two teenagers, it was the second time in recent years she has brought the National Park Service to its knees.

"What motivates you?" I asked her shortly after the Battle of the Fence. "A sense of fairness," she quickly responded. She took particular umbrage at the fact that the National Park Service gave lip service to the opinions of stakeholders. "If the plan had integrity and made sense, I would readily embrace it," she added.

But it didn't and Ann did what she does best - used her persistence, doggedness and passion to arouse powerful elected officials to slow down the Park Service.

Undoubtedly, the Park Service will be back; hopefully so will Ann.

We need her.

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