By Dean Jacob Williamson
When I found out that I would need a community representative for my Eagle project, my father knew exactly who to call. He knew a city councilwoman who not only knew a lot about city government, but also cared about each and every one of her constituents. That councilwoman was Barbara Haller. She is known throughout the community not for being another politician who cared more about herself than anyone else, but for being a veritable person concerned for her fellow Worcesterites. Barbara Haller was a great help to me before, during, and after my Eagle project.
I contacted Barbara Haller early this spring about my Eagle project, and she was quick to respond. I have always had problems trying to get in touch with those in the government but not with Barbara Haller. She emailed me back with a few questions about my project and took the time to meet with me over lunch. I was impressed by how well she knew the city and those in the community. I needed to contact people about grants and permission to start my project, and she knew who to call. She helped jumpstart my project right then and there.
My project was to restore the planters of Pleasant Street. Many of the planters were not taken care of and filled with water and trash. My project was to raise support and volunteers to rid the pots of the trash and water and fill them with dirt and flowers. This required some money. Barbara Haller knew some people involved with the Greater Worcester Community Foundation and helped me write a grant application. Unfortunately, the grant did not go through, but Barbara Haller gave me the idea to go door to door down Pleasant Street raising support. The community was willing to help and we raised all the money needed.
While all of the planning and fundraising was going on, Barbara Haller kept in touch with me and offered me plenty of advice and help. I did not have to keep sending emails to her to get her to respond; she sent emails to me to see how things were progressing. This kept me focused and on task. I do not know how I would have completed my project if it was not for her. I do not believe that any other city councilperson would have helped me the way Barbara Haller did.
The most kind and humble thing Barbara Haller did for my Eagle project was to get her hands dirty and help. It rained the day of my project and the dirt turned to mud, yet Barbara Haller did not think it was beneath her to plant flowers in the rain. Barbara Haller used her hands as well as her brains and connections to help me with my project.
Barbara Haller was there every step of the way for my project. She did not just benefit me with her help; she benefited the entire community. If you want someone who cares deeply about the community and those who make it up, then vote for Barbara Haller. The Pleasant Street community would be sorely lacking without Barbara Haller representing it. I believe I will turn 18 just before elections this year; Barbara Haller will get my very first vote.