As I was driving into work today, I listened to an account of a small solidarity protest held in front of the company that operates our local water system. Apparently, this company, Veolia, was reneging on agreements they had with their transportation workers in Boston. I was bemused that our tap water was controlled by a French company, but didn’t think much more about it until I heard a familiar voice explaining the Boston grievances. It is the same voice I have heard explaining how you can maintain an entire garden, including small trees, in containers.
“We’re not just people who pay water bills, like everyone else. We’re also union activists and people who care about whether or not labor has some dignity [and] whether we can make a contract and have both sides stick to it,” said one of the protesters, who happens to be Ellie Dorritie. Dorritie is the owner of one of Garden Walk Buffalo’s signature gardens, a lovely cottage garden that includes a tall curbside border bursting with color and a back part-shade space filled with flowering shrubs.
Visitors to Dorritie’s charming space may not realize that even her garden required a bit of a fight. She was an urban pioneer in her neighborhood, which wasn’t always the well-kept enclave it is today. And she had to battle to keep her curbside planting, which was one of the first of its kind on city property.
I salute her determination and her willingness to put herself out there to support her beliefs—whether I might agree with them or not. I like people who fight for things they care about.