Friday, August 5, 2005

Yes, Thank You, I Shall Certainly Come

Some other Greensboro bloggers and I (along with a lot of other people) received an invitation yesterday from Action Greensboro to visit Greenville, SC. The Action Greensboro Operating Group wrote,

We want to take business, civic, and local government leaders to Greenville to see how the community has revitalized its Center City and to learn from the implementers how they funded and led these initiatives [Italics mine].
It's a testament to the power of local blogging that David, Ben, Sue, and I were invited, isn't it?

But that highlighted clause is the answer to David's question, "Call me curiously cautious, but I can't help but wonder what Greenville has that AG's esteemed leadership now wants to copy for our fair city?" What Greenville has, I suspect, is a plan for funding downtown revitalization with public money.

The Action Greensboro foundations, having spent tens of millions on projects (First Horizon Park and the Center City Park), are about tapped out. I think the message they're soon to be sending is, "Greensboro, we've taken the ball to the 50 yard line; if you want to score you're going to have to take it the rest of the way from here."

This is no surprise. I remember a meeting with one of the foundation heads back in 2003, during which s/he expressed some exasperation after a meeting with elected officials. When presented with the McKinsey Report's prescriptions for recharging Greensboro's economy and revitalizing its center city, the officials said, "This sounds great. But who will lead these initiatives?"

Hmmm. How about the Mayor and City Council?

Anyway, thank you, AG for the invitation. I shall certainly come.


Anonymous said...

I'm in DC; I haven't seen my mail. I don't know, and don't suspect, that I was invited.

David Wharton said...

A little AG bird told me that you were . . . tho' I'll go to jail with Judith before I reveal my source.

Rob Ainbinder said...

I'm a bit cynical after the first A.G. trip.

But, good luck with it.