Be Who You Are- Only Better!

To All City Leaders, Urbanists, Activists, Citizens, and “Would-Be” Energizers of Places,

A couple of the interesting things that I get to do in my role as CEO of the Michigan Municipal League is to travel to interesting places and meet some extraordinary people. Just in the past month or so I have had the pleasure of spending time neighborhoods throughout Detroit, St. Louis’ Delmar Loop, Sixth Street in Austin, Downtown Traverse City, and Dupont Circle in Washington, DC.

These are all great places with lots of character (and characters), an array of assets, and energy in the streets. The people who I have the pleasure to meet with are also jewels for the community whether it be the community activists in St. Louis, entrepreneurs in Detroit, or big business types in DC. They all bring something hyper-local to the conversations about the future of a street, or a neighborhood, or a city.

WARNING! So here comes the self-help part of the blog. Traveling to other places, or simply learning about them, can be intoxicating. Upon returning home it’s easy, and understandable, why many of us want to shout “We can do that here!” or “If we only had ____ things it would be great.” I know I have done this many times before.