It is December 21st, and many people are scrambling to finish their shopping between the year-end work activities and the plethora of parties and gatherings. Who has time to think about the next two months let alone the next forty years?
The truth is we – you, me, the Greater Des Moines region – cannot afford to wait to think about the next forty years. Pick up a newspaper to see the environmental issues, the housing issues, and the government budget issues in our region. Glance around the metro this holiday season and see the homeless, the hungry, and the socioeconomically disadvantaged.
Through The Tomorrow Plan, we are working to address these issues and to create a vibrant and enduring region – a region in which we look at and understand the relationships between systems, communities, and people.
These interconnected systems define The Tomorrow Plan and our region. Look at the project logo and notice how the strands – representing the seventeen elements we are addressing and our communities and counties – intertwine with one another. Now suppose that we remove just two of those strands; without them, our region cannot achieve its potential.
Our region cannot achieve its potential without you, either. The Tomorrow Team is providing the data and the expert knowledge, but this is your plan! We are merely helping educate you about complex issues, facilitating the discussion, and ensuring that your voice is heard.
Now, you may wonder how this is your plan when it stretches out to the year 2050. We have heard from many people that it does not matter because they will not be around then – but it does matter!
The Tomorrow Plan is about your legacy. It is about your children. It is about your grandchildren. My mother once told my sisters and me that her daughters were her “very favorite gifts,” and she and my father have done everything possible to ensure that we would have the best possible future.
As we continue planning for tomorrow, please consider the best gift that you can give your loved ones. Is it really this year’s Tickle Me Elmo, or is it a great place to live, work, and play? Please participate in The Tomorrow Plan and ensure that bright future. With that, I leave you with one question: Who is your tomorrow?