Message From the Chair Emeritus—Richard Johanson
I’d like to share an experience I had last week flying home from Portland, Oregon, in late afternoon. It was raining hard when we departed. After half an hour or so I looked out the window and saw the onset of an inspiring sunset. My first reaction was: “I am back in sunny California.” Then I realized that the reason I was enjoying the beautiful gold and red horizon was because we were flying above the clouds. Transpose those thoughts into what our community is accomplishing by working together. We have raised our collective vision of how high we must set our goals and what course we must take to attain them. Together we seek to bask in the sunshine above the clouds that oftentimes obscure it. Simply expressed, we are becoming recognized as transformational meteorologists.
Spirit of Barn Raising Rising Across California—Citizens Are Leading
At a recent meeting of regional stewards from across California, it was clear that a renewed commitment to personal and community responsibility is well underway.
At last year’s meeting, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation told of us their effort to engage over 1,050 people across every sector to create their first comprehensive plan to strengthen the economy, improve the environment and invigorate communities. This year, they talked about their execution mantra—“It’s time for everyone to take responsibility for our communities and to be the change.” Their goal is to unify the entire county behind 5 goals essential for regional health. In The Guide: Los Angeles County, every city explains its plan to achieve the goals locally. The goals are:
• Preparing an educated workforce
• Creating a business-friendly environment
• Enhancing the quality of life
• Implementing smart land use
• Building a 21st century infrastructure
In Butte the community and educational sites are teaming up to insure that every child who needs one has a tutor to help achieve specific goals that are monitored monthly. “Tutoring is the back-up plan—quality parenting is the best solution.” Citizens are transforming the chaos around many schools into safe communities. Lesson Learned: Independence leads to interdependence at maturity. Dependence leads to codependence precluding maturity.
Four Spheres Approach Creating a New Culture
Similar goals with the same theme of personal responsibility are part of regional strategies across the state. All share the same civic DNA, a four spheres approach to transformational change that recognizes the interdependence of critical issues and the post partisan nature of durable solutions. As politics follow culture, it is up to communities to be the change they wish to see in politics and elected officials. A unified strategy provides an antidote to fragmented and aggressive single interests.