Charlottesville Tomorrow

Today saw the launch of a new non-partisan advocacy group for Charlottesville and Albemarle issues. Charlottesville Tomorrow takes the KISS principle and runs with it. If pictures say one thousand words, this organization has and will have a lot to say.

The press conference held today at the Paramount announcing their launch was attended by several members of their Board of Directors, politicians and, of course, the media. The press conference demonstrated the effects of an efficient, professional organization.  Press release here (pdf).

Rather than choose sides, Charlottesville Tomorrow is positioning itself as neither pro- nor anti- growth. They are a refreshingly non-biased organization whose goal is to educate the public on issues in a clear, concise manner that  will foster discussion, public knowledge, involvement and action.

Realizing that young people are not involving themselves due to choice or apathy, yet expect to have conversations about growth, environmental issues, transportation, issues, etc., the site has a blog. Blogs have proven to be an excellent and efficient format to engage young people and the public in general. This realization is, itself, a recognition that this group might just “get it.”

Politics are always at the forefront of these types of groups and this was clearly evident. Seeing Mitch van Yahres pitch his idea for a Ruckersville Parkway, Meredith Richards pitch and Connie Brennan of the Nelson County Board of Supervisors ask for a regional partnership showed the level of interest and head start this group has already.

In the words of Chairman Michael Bills, Charlottesville Tomorrow aims to be “profoundly non-partisan,” provide information that is “lucid, graphic and compelling” and an “advocate that people act.”

Brian Wheeler mentioned the barriers to the public getting involved and their goal to help remove those barriers and that they want to “enable the public to learn more about the issues.”

This group has high aspirations, more than adequate funding and superior leadership. I have high hopes.

The greatest shortcoming that I see is the (current) myopic focus on Charlottesville/Albemarle when the focus really needs to be from a regional point-of-view. My expectation is that as this group grows, so will their focus.

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