Finding a representative from Amazon Neighborhoods to speak and walk with turned out to be more difficult than we had planned. Though our group utilized our individual resources, unbalanced teamwork eventually paid off. I personally started with the Amazon Neighborhood Association’s website, and found several neighborhood blogs and message board, but no contact information. I left a message on a message board about neighborhood issues in the vain attempt that someone with authority would read it and agree to an interview. However, one of my partners managed to email Randy Prince, the Association’s Co-Chair, who was more than happy to talk about his role and the larger neighborhood. He provided us with resources and potential enterprise topics, in that he spoke about the community’s commitment to sustainability and its efforts to support community gardens. Prince recommended that we attend the Association’s next general meeting on November 18th, which will more than likely prove invaluable.
Prince also gave us some statistics on the neighborhood through his own experience. For example, roughly half of the households that he helps with have student residents, which is much lower than neighborhoods closer to campus. This means if we decide to focus on health in our neighborhood in terms of food, we will have to incorporate that fact that families will eat healthier and be more proactive in growing food. I had noted in the past that Sundance Natural Foods could be a valuable resource for the issue of health, and Prince had nothing but good things to say about the business and its contributions to local products. Prince’s insight definitely got our minds working, and we will hopefully maintain communication with him throughout the project.
However, my first impressions were more or less validated by what Prince said; Amazon is committed to sustainability, to safety, to a family-oriented environment, etc. I imagined a closely-knit community during our previous excursions, and the fact that such a friendly personality like Prince was essentially the neighborhood’s vice president re-emphasized my suspicions. I feel fortunate to have been assigned a place in Eugene that is relatively friendly and quiet because conducting interviews will be that much easier.