Arbitrary or not, annual closure of the calendar evokes reflection on what has past and hope for what may lie ahead. We are not immune to the ritual.
We resolve to use our voice on these pages to advocate for best practices in local, state and national governance, and to do so while presenting as wide an array of differing opinions as space allows.
Although we cannot speak for anyone else, we have a few suggestions for bettering Eastern Iowa communities. From elected officials to private citizens, here are some additional resolutions we believe should be made and kept in 2018:
MUNICIPAL AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
• Embark on more collaboration and push to enhance regional competitiveness.
• Promote initiatives that reduce economic and representational inequality; make appointed boards and commissions a better reflection of the diversity that exists within the community.
• Identify ways to fill the policy vacuum in Des Moines and Washington.
• Set aside partisan bickering and infighting in favor of working relationships built on compromise.
• Craft people-centered budgets that reflect this moment’s more stringent economic realities.
• Increase housing stock that’s aligned with local wages.
• In all matters, embrace transparency and public accountability.
BUSINESS OWNERS AND CORPORATE MANAGERS
• Create workplaces where employees can thrive and produce without fear of unfair or improper treatment.
• Identify common challenges and invite the community to brainstorm solutions.
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• Work with schools and parents to encourage young Iowans to learn, earn and remain in this region.
• Pay it forward: Become the mentor.
• Invest in local nonprofits and establish ways for workers to take more active community leadership roles.
• Carpe diem. Seize the day — which may necessitate loosening the grip on your smartphone.
• Assume the best about your neighbors and their motives.
• Attend community meetings; let your voice be heard early and often.
• Share your expertise.
What else can be done to improve the local landscape in 2018?
• Comments: (319) 398-8262; firstname.lastname@example.org