Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 31, 2009

Message From The Chair Emeritus--Richard Johanson

There is something about the beginning of Fall that fills most of us with an energetic call to action that replaces our more relaxed pace of summer. So it is with the Fresno Business Council. In keeping with this stepped up level of activity, Executive Committee agreed we need to revive our Weekly Bulletin in order to keep our members and friends up to date on what is going on related to our actions and aspirations. Watch for it on Mondays.

I was asked to resume creating an opening paragraph hopefully worthy of your readership which I am honored to try to do. The rest of the Bulletin will be designed to bring to our attention those broad-based and substantial affairs in which the Fresno Business Council plays a major role.

As before, my focus will be in trying to share with each reader a thought or two pertaining to the efforts of so many Council members and their co-horts working so hard to transform this place which we call home from Good to Great. We welcome your comments or suggestions.

A Broad View

Our community has come a long way in the past decade. Initially, working together across sectors and organizations to achieve shared goals was very difficult. Today, there is a lot more alignment within the economic, infrastructure and human development spheres. Comprehensive strategies like the Regional Jobs Initiative, Human Investment Initiative and the Metro Rural Loop offer opportunities to link, align and leverage within their respective focus areas. The next step, is a better understanding of the interdependence across the three spheres and alignment behind the overriding goal of transformational change. Those who have developed a sense of responsiblity for the whole are populating a Circle of Stewards and providing overall leadership and support. The goals have always been simple--prosperity, a quality built and natural environment and healthy, well educated and productive citizens. It's discovering the most effective paths to achieve them that requires stewards, entrepreneurs, experts and a diverse interests working together relentlessly.

Horizons on Land Use--A Landscape by Intention
Decisions regarding how we use land have a lasting impact on every issue. Without clear values, a many generation vision and political discipline, we stand the risk of continuing old patterns that have destroyed valuable farmland, increased air and water pollution, and created neighborhoods with concentrated poverty, obesity and crime. As land use decisions cross jurisdictions, how do we insure sustainable decisions? On Friday, a cross section of individuals have been invited to explore how we might create a sustainable community agenda that is specific, has designated champions and and is broadly supported. In addition, the group will discuss the new realities we face as economic, environmental and social givens of the past have evaporated. Times of transition and crisis require deep reflection if we are to make sound decisions leading to a better future.