Sorry About Your E.D.

November 9, 2021

I know it is a touchy subject, but something must be said. We can’t keep tik-toking around the subject. Pretending it isn’t affecting you, won’t make it go away. I am truly sorry for anyone suffering from the effects of E.D. It plagues far too many and it seems the cure eludes all but a few. It is embarrassing, awkward and unfortunate, but solutions are available.

Did you know E.D. affects 2 out of every 3 communities?

Did you know most communities spend millions on E.D.?

Did you know E.D. is the leading cause of civic stagnation?

The sad fact is, that the effects of economic development are holding back so many of our towns. I want you to know, you are not alone. Don’t be ashamed, economic development has at one time or another affected us all. I will even admit, I once was plagued by economic development. I thought I could fix communities with tax incentives. I used to think that if we just added one more job, everything would be better. Just one more JOB!

Retention, expansion, retention, expansion!

While part of me is ashamed to admit I suffered, I think there is a benefit to being upfront about my problem. I like to think we can learn something from our past and help others come out of the shadows.

Economic development won’t hold me back anymore. Wow! It feels so good to say out loud. Economic development won’t hold me back anymore. Shew. Now you try.

Economic development leaves us feeling empty and inadequate. It reminds us all the time that small projects aren’t meaningful and quality of life issues are irrelevant. Economic development wants us to believe that only in attracting corporations can we really feel virile again. Economic development rarely has time for Main Street.

I know you are probably skeptical. It might be hard to believe there is a cure for economic development. I mean, you’ve probably had it for decades. Is there any reason to believe things can get better? Is there any reason to hope there can be intimacy between your city and its residents again? Can they ever be close? Can that special relationship a community has with its people be repaired? When the lights are off and you are all alone, can you really express love for your hometown?

The answer is yes! Yes, you can. Economic development doesn’t have to hold you back anymore. You can be close to your community again. That special relationship your grandparents talked about, can be yours.

Announcing civic pride!

Civic pride can reverse the effects of economic development, allowing you a chance to enjoy the full community experience once again. Civic pride isn’t some new fangled magic potion, but I time tested method of helping bring people together with their community. Civic pride has long been practiced in the great European capitals and was once even available right here on our shores.

Want to experience a sense of community?

Civic pride.

Want to feel engaged with your public officials?

Civic pride.

Want to hear people say nice things about your hometown?

Civic pride.

Want to save millions on business recruitment incentives?

Civic pride.

Want to improve your quality of life and foster affection for your city?

Civic pride.

Sound too good to be true?

Well, that’s not all.

The best part, civic pride doesn’t even cost anything.

Wait, what?

That’s right, civic pride doesn’t cost a thing. You won’t even have to hire a retired banker to run your civic pride. You can do it yourself.

Picture yourself, one year from today. Living your full civic life. You’ve started using civic pride and you’ve shared it with all your friends and neighbors. Everyone is hooked. People are picking up trash as they walk down the street. Folks are posting photos of the vacant lot they just cleaned up. Council meetings are packed with people passionate about changing ordinances and enforcing building codes. Crazy old Janice even bought a building downtown.

Civic pride isn’t a gimmick and it doesn’t require staff or an office or a travel budget. It’s a movement, it’s a campaign, it’s an effort, it’s a mindset. It’s what we need. It’s almost all that we need. No amount of money will fix what is wrong with our communities because it isn’t a money problem. We have an apathy problem. Economic development tells us that only guys in golf shirts know how to fix our problems, but they’ve had decades to prove it and yet they keep asking for more money. Economic development simply isn’t the solution to community decline and increasingly, its becoming part of the problem.

We don’t need big budgets and silver bullet projects to repair our communities. We need to restore healthy relationships between residents and their town. We need to help people understand that their wellbeing is directly tied to the well-being of their place. We need to explain to all the institutions in town, that they will only ever be as successful as the place in which they are located.

Civic pride is about challenging people to do a little bit every day to make their community better. To take small steps to express affection for their place. It isn’t complicated, but it is effective. In taking an incremental approach and checking off small things, we can show improvements every single day and build the momentum to turn the tide. We remind people how easy it is to get involved and make a difference. We give people a chance to actually get involved in their community and remind them why it feels so good to pitch in.

Don’t let E.D. hold your community back anymore. You too can live a full civic life. You deserve to enjoy that special relationship with the place you call home. Don’t delay, try civic pride today.

* Warning, if effects of civic pride last more than 4 hours, please consult your economic development officials to gloat.

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