Guest Editorial: Opportunity, Action and What to Tune Out

By Recker McDowell —

The country and our communities are filled with unrest, and uncertainty.

COVID-19, the economy and jobs, race and policing are all sowing worry and divisions.

But through all the economic and social angst and anarchy in some cities, there are great opportunities.

We have a chance to build communities focused on inclusion and growth. We have an opportunity to heal broken social contracts, find new ways to come together, and discover new ways to work and create.

Part of that requires all of us to move away from the political and social divisions created by social media hot takes, partisan culture warriors, alarmists and pandering candidates and advertisers.

We need to decide how much to focus on the fate of old statues, NASCAR incidents, chastising media, and what President Trump calls COVID-19.

We also need to decide on what solutions will help save and bring back jobs, protect those most threatened by COVID 19, and heal the wounds of racism and hopelessness.

This is where communities can come together beyond platitudes and patronizing promises. We need answers and actions.

It is an opportunity for political candidates up and down the ballot to show real leadership and to be innovative. Voters should expect and demand immediate and concrete answers from those candidates.

Communities need to step forward. We all need to be innovative and creative for repairing social contracts and addressing disparities in health care and jobs. Cities and communities that expand opportunities will stand out as international models. Those communities can become beacons to the rest of the country. That will bring jobs and even more creativity.

Communities (and candidates) who stay stuck in partisanship and empty promises run the risk of getting left behind.

This is also chance for small businesses and large employers and brands to affect real positive change. Small businesses need all the help they can get right now as they try to survive the impact of COVID-19 and with many consumers reluctant to venture out, let alone travel.

Our opportunity for inclusion, action, and healing requires listening to each and knowing when to tune out Twitter, politics, and news ‘personalities’.

Unlikely as it seems now but then maybe the year 2020 can be the birth of something better.