We launched Vision for the Valley for a simple reason: Someone needed to. I'd had conversations with people from all over the Valley, in different business and social settings, that generally went like this: "Boy, isn't this a great place to live, work, raise a family? Gee, seems like someone should do something to keep it that way."
There was a common expression of concern over who was supposed to do something and what that something was. With the economic slowdown, there was an added sense of urgency.
What I came to believe was that it wasn't "someone." It was all of us.
No matter how well-intentioned, well-funded or well-connected any of these folks are individually, all of us need to bring our strengths to bear and work on it together.
Our strength as a newspaper is to create a forum for community conversations, to gather information, to challenge the status quo. It seemed logical for us to step up and facilitate this critical conversation - so that's what we've done for the past five months. I can't stress enough that the vision on the previous page doesn't belong to the Statesman or the editorial board. It belongs to the talented people who have helped on behalf of all of us.
When we issued them an invitation, amazing people showed up and gave their time and ideas. They quickly found a lot of common ground. And then they asked, "What can we do now?" These entrepreneurs, bankers, educators, developers, philanthropists, elected officials and tech gurus each understood that they can add something to solving this puzzle.
And so can you:
Weigh in on the conversation at IdahoStatesman.com/VisionfortheValley.
Sign on with your support by e-mailing your name (or group's name) and phone number to email@example.com.
Offer your expertise. Be part of a steering committee or serve on a task force to tackle one of the action steps. (See box on Insight 3.)
Make a personal effort: Volunteer locally, write elected officials to let them know that a vision for our future is important.
One thing I love about this Valley is how easy it is to be involved and to make a difference. Another is that I'm not alone in that desire. Join the people who've started trying to figure this out for all of us.
You can make a difference.
President and publisher