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What Columbus Needs – A Little Less Bickering
What does Columbus need?
It’s the question Columbus Monthly Magazine recently posed to more than 100 community leaders from across the social-economic-political spectrum. For how divided our country currently seems the answers were surprisingly similar.
The top ideas from the survey respondents about what Columbus needs :
Transportation, the Scioto, arts and jobs – particularly downtown jobs.
I couldn’t agree more with most of the suggestions.
A majority of respondents said we need improved public transportation. Specifically they suggested improvements to sidewalks and bicycle lanes, light-rail, and direct transportation from downtown to the airport, where international flights in-and-out of Port Columbus need to be a reality.
Many of the respondents also said we need to clean up the Scioto River. Make it an inviting recreational feature – instead of allowing it to continue to serve as Central Ohio’s cesspool.
They also saw public art, and the strengthening of creative cultural in general, as an extremely important part of Columbus’ success.
Of course the list went on and on and included some extreme diversity, ranging from dress shops downtown to Democrats and Republicans singing Kumbaya. They were all great ideas. –
However, most interesting was the final majority response.
Columbus. Needs. Jobs.
Of course we do, the whole world is suffering right now due to economic downturn. A staggering percentage of our population is sitting on their hands, wondering where the next paycheck – or worse – next meal is going to come from. And so far all attempts to change that fact have either failed or been stalled by constant partisan bickering.
So it’s odd. All these people with different backgrounds, incomes and political feelings agree on what Columbus needs, but they fail to see just how many jobs these projects would create – if only they actually tried to implement them.
Imagine if, instead of people occupying the statehouse, or holding tea parties, what if those people were given the opportunity to work on these public projects to help themselves and the whole community?
Think about what type of complex organization it would take to make just one of these ideas a reality?
That complexity represents a worthy challenge, not a roadblock. That’s because the people out of work today are not just laborers; they are executives, project managers, engineers and artists – they are the full litany of people who have the skills necessary to implement the complex changes Columbus needs.
And what about me – what do I think Columbus needs?
I think Columbus, and the whole country, needs one thing more than anything else. We need to stop bickering and start working. Because working together, to accomplish great things, is what has always made our country exceptional – and I believe we need that now more than ever.