Land Of Hope And Dreams

Bruce Springsteen and his wife Patti Scialfa after a show at the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway.

I can’t let my Springsteen on Broadway experience pass without sharing some takeaways with you.
First, the show is remarkable.
The power. The passion. The sharing. The stories. The humor. The descriptions of life and landscapes are masterful.
And the music…well the music is sublime.

With the exception of two songs performed with his wife Patti Scialfa, the show is all Bruce. Just a piano and an acoustic guitar.
Bruce’s songwriting prowess often overshadows  his guitar playing but on the night we saw him we marveled at how his acoustic filled the Walter Kerr Theatre.

It’s a rich sound. Powerful. And it allowed him to change arrangements on songs giving them new texture and meaning.

The stories and themes that accompanied the music were a big part of the night. Bruce covered a lot of ground as he told his life story weaving in themes ranging from love and trust to parenthood and aging.
As he ages..as we all age…there’s a poignancy that comes with a Springsteen performance.
We know it won’t last forever.

We know we won’t last forever.

And so we appreciate the moments more, we savor the experiences, the feelings, the closeness and the love we have for not only the music (which is truly magnificent) but for the community this man and the E Street Band have created since 1973.

Last week, I wrote that Springsteen was about hope. And he is. But he’s also about community.
He’s worked hard to create it. He’s worked hard to scale it and he’s worked hard to deepen it and keep it going. There’s lessons to be learned from how he’s built and sustained a large tribe. There’s also lessons in why it’s meaningful to belong to…something.

Bruce closed the show with a story about returning to his hometown of Freehold, N.J. recently only to find a beloved childhood tree had been removed.
He was angry and saddened by the loss. But he also noticed that the roots system was still in place.

While the physical tree was gone, he felt the energy of the tree was very much intact.

He concluded with a prayer and a wish that the community he had built, the music he had created, would hopefully live on. Much like the roots system of the tree.
As I reflect on the show, I realized that I just loved this message.

In many ways we all try to build communities, families, businesses, works of art, relationships and more. It’s imperfect, it’s lifelong and sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. But we hope it adds up to something. We hope it means something. I’m sure it does.

We also hope it lasts, even if we know that we won’t.

Bruce talked about the magic of his legendary E Street. How when you experience magic–one plus one somehow equals three. How true.

And so I thought back on my life and my friends. How when it clicks you can move mountains, make lasting memories with good friends, create a family, start entrepreneurial ventures, grow organizations and touch lives.
That’s what it’s all about: striving for magic, working hard to make it happen, taking risks and enjoying the journey knowing that there’s pain, loss and setbacks but love, joy and passion too.

In the song “Land of Hope and Dreams”  Bruce sings of a mythical train where there is room for everyone. You don’t need a ticket, you just climb aboard. The destination is a land of hope and dreams, a place where we all find love, acceptance and freedom.
Amen.

NYC Serenade: My Springsteen Obsession

“If the Beatles were about love and the Stones about sex, then Bruce is about hope. And hope springs eternal…as in Springsteen.” –Elliott Murphy, singer-songwriter.

In a few days, my wife and I will be making a pilgrimage to NYC to see Bruce Springsteen on Broadway.

While we are a hyperlocal blog, I ask for your indulgence because I want to spend a few moments on E Street, where I have lived off and on since 1975, when I was 11 and “Born to Run” was released.

The album is a classic. And I was instantly hooked on all things Bruce.

My Springsteen fixation has lasted 43 years and it is safe to say that it will be with me—happily—for the rest of my days.

My close friends know how much I love music—a wide range of it—at least in my mind.

Classic rock, 70s music, 80s music, pop, 60s music, disco, New Wave, Sinatra—even Neil Diamond—to the consternation of my wife and my ultra-cool friend Pame’ Williams.

(Just as an aside, there is nothing wrong with Neil Diamond. No one else can sing about chairs (“I am, I said”) and E.T. (“Turn on Your Heartlight”) like Neil and make it sound good—to my ears anyway.

But I digress.

My big five are the Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles and Bruce; especially The Beatles and Bruce.

Sadly, while I have unbridled passion for music, I have absolutely zero talent. I can’t even play air guitar, but still I cannot imagine a life without music.

From an early age, I’ve found inspiration, solace, joy, motivation and a hundred other useful emotions from listening to great artists from the Allman Brothers to Warren Zevon.

But Springsteen is a touchstone. He’s the well, the mountain top, the apex— for me anyway.

His songs are cinematic, his writing is poetry mixed with journalism and his live performances are indescribable.

I can’t wait to experience his genius in a small venue.

So now the local part…Consider this:

-I built a talk I gave to Creative Mornings at the Arts Garage around the magic of his songwriting. The topic: genius. You can see it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5sz9scEoZ4

 

-E Street Band drummer “Mighty Max” Weinberg lives in Delray, played a benefit at the Arts Garage, loves Caffe Luna Rosa, has read our downtown master plan and has become a friend. They say never meet your heroes because you’ll be disappointed, but the truth is Max is just a great guy.

-Inspired by Bruce’s first album “Greetings from Asbury Park”, I based the design of the cover of my book “Adventures in Local Politics” on the album’s iconic poster card.

-Local event producer Bern Ryan might be an even bigger fan than I am—hard to imagine—but he’s seen Bruce and the E Street Band all over the world, in Asbury Park and on Broadway. Bern has warned me that three songs into “Springsteen on Broadway” that we will be in tears. (I cry when I read a Hallmark card so Bern’s probably correct).

Anyway, I don’t expect that everybody will get my happy obsession.

But let’s just say that music that touched my soul at age 11 resonates even more as I grow older.

Hope does spring eternal—and Springsteen’s music provides me with a reservoir of hope.

 

 

Finding Inspiration @ Boca Lead

Pastor Bill Mitchell who has an extensive background in business draws big crowds for BocaLead.

 

I have to be honest, I’m more apt to say no these days than yes to social functions.

It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I’m tired, very busy and fantasize more about a Lazy Boy and a cold beer than I do a banquet and a baguette.

Over the years, I’ve been to countless luncheons, fundraisers, ribbon cuttings, cocktail parties and functions; you just get to a point where you just want to chill and binge on Netflix.
But there are certain people I just can’t say no to…Karen Granger is one of them.

Karen and I have known each other for many years and through many careers. The former President of the Delray Chamber is with a wonderful organization called 4 Kids these days and she’s happy doing important work for children and the community.
So when she invited me to attend a leadership luncheon I said yes.
Why?

Because I trust her judgment and because we are passionate about many of the same things. For example, we are both leadership junkies.
So Karen took me to a monthly event called BocaLead at Boca Community Church and it was amazing. Just as Karen promised.

A capacity crowd of 450 people packed into the event to hear Pastor Bill Mitchell give a fascinating and practical presentation on how to be a better leader.
It was something.

Everywhere I looked I saw community leaders—business leaders, non profit leaders, political leaders and educational leaders. These are the people who are dedicated to making Boca the finest city in the world. Yes, the world. They are ambitious in Boca and at BocaLead.
That’s a wonderful thing.

Newly elected Commissioner Ryan Boylston was there and we both agree that we would love to see something like this in Delray.

Apparently, the BocaLead concept is expanding to other cities.
Each month, the attendees enjoy lunch and fellowship and then learn about life and leadership.
Yes, it’s set in a church and it is part of Boca Community’s ministry, but the message was inclusive of all faiths.

The message is also decidedly optimistic, calling on leaders to dig deep, be present, recharge, give back and do good in the world.
That’s always a good thing, but especially now with where we are as a society these days.

It’s also very reassuring to know something like BocaLead exists and to see it so popular.
I can’t believe I didn’t know about it. I’m glad I do now.
I urge you to check it out. And mostly, I’m grateful for my friend Karen Granger.
For thinking of me. And for all she does for people and the community.

For more information on BocaLead visit http://www.bocacommunity.org/bocalead/

 

 

Making History, Living History

Yvonne Odom

““If we lose love and self respect for each other,this is how we finally die”
― Maya Angelou, who would have been 90 today.

Last week, civic rights icon Linda Brown passed away.

She was the historic figure and namesake in the landmark Supreme Court case “Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas” which overturned school segregation in 1954.

When I heard the news, I immediately thought of my friend Yvonne Odom.

Mrs. Odom was the brave student who integrated Seacrest High School seven years later in September 1961. Seacrest would later become Atlantic High.

Mrs. Odom was in 10th grade that year when she walked into that school alone. It’s hard to imagine, from the vantage point of 2018, what that must have been like.

When Mrs. Odom went to Seacrest on her first day, a white stranger reached out and took her hand. That stranger was Paula Adams, a student council member. She wanted to help Yvonne cope with the stares of students.

As we remember the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s Assassination today and this week, much is being written about the civil rights movement and how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go.

Race is clearly still a major issue in America—our schools, neighborhoods and many institutions remain segregated—despite the 1954 ruling. And yet there’s been progress.

Back In 1961 Delray, the school’s administration was so worried about Yvonne’s safety that they asked her to use the faculty bathroom.

They didn’t know her well. She insisted on using the student’s restroom. She was not afraid.

Mrs. Odom paved the way for future African students at Seacrest/Atlantic.

And she walked away from a lot to be a leader–people give up a lot to be “the first.”

At Carver High School, she was a standout in many ways. Her basketball coach was the legendary C. Spencer Pompey who had identified Ms. Odom as a leader. He was right, as he always seemed to be.

Writing the name C. Spencer Pompey gives me an opportunity to tell you how wonderful he was—a gentleman, an historian, a mentor, a leader, a teacher and a pillar of strength not only in this community but throughout Palm Beach County and the state. People like the Pompey’s (including his wife H. Ruth), Elizabeth Wesley, Solomon D. Spady and others are important. They become important people because of the impact they make, the legacies they leave, the lessons they impart and the lives they mold—positively.

Yvonne Odom was and is a leader. She is an important person.

The year she left for Seacrest to make history was going to be her sophomore year at Carver High School. She had been chosen by Mr. Pompey to be captain of the girls basketball team. She was also slated to be part of Carver’s Homecoming Court, which was a big deal and a major honor.

But she left for Seacrest for a more important mission….and because she was African American, school officials thought it best to minimize her contact with the white kids. That meant: no sports, (impacting her ability to earn a college scholarship), no physical education classes and no rides on the school bus.

According to Sun-Sentinel archives, Palm Beach County desegregation began with a lawsuit filed in 1956 by West Palm Beach attorney Bill Holland, who objected to school officials’ refusal to let his son be admitted to a West Palm Beach elementary school.

 

A committee, which included Holland and Odom’s father, the Rev. Randolph Lee, went to black families’ homes to recruit black students to attend white schools in Jupiter, Lake Worth and what was then Palm Beach Junior College.

 

Lee, a minister who worked with Holland and the attorneys, decided his daughter fit the profile of what they were looking for.

 

Mrs. Odom was one of five students who were used in the group’s plan to integrate. She fit the bill: a top student who exhibited strength and character.

Mrs. Odom’s father, Rev. Lee, worked hard to ensure his daughter’s safety, working with administrators to make sure she was OK.

In my own prior interviews with Mrs. Odom she said she was never physically abused but was called derogatory names on two occasions.

She went on to a distinguished career in education, including teaching at Carver Middle School.

She has also been involved deeply in the Delray community for decades.

Linda Brown also remained involved in the “movement”. She was an important person.

As was MLK.

A single bullet changed the world 50 years ago in Memphis.

A half century later we continue to mourn the death of MLK—but the work continues. It always does. We are nowhere near the mountain top. To some, that may be a depressing prospect and truth be told there are sad elements to this journey, but to others the dream is so compelling, so valuable and so important that they are willing to keep on going. Thank goodness for their commitment.

We are lucky to have people like Yvonne Odom in our midst—living testaments to history but like others she is not merely a relic of the past. She remains hard at work in the community. As it should be. As we all should be.

 

 

 

Things We Loved In March (with one exception)

March Madness ends in April. Our prediction: Villanova.

 

March was a great month.

Glorious weather, lots of things happening: St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Flora Exhibit at Old School Square, March for Our Lives etc.

Here’s what caught our eye:

Students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School joining Hamilton Star Mandy Gonzalez onstage of the Crest Theatre at Old School Square.
Our friend and local hero Joe Gillie described the event beautifully on Facebook: “This is why Old School Square is here.” Yes indeed. Preach Joe!

Receiving a text message from another of my heroes Bill Wood. Trust me, it’s a thrill. Ask him to text you and you’ll see why.

The Dr. Zhivago drink at Che with some empanadas of course. A truly great spot on the Intracoastal in Delray; especially at sunset.

Blowing off steam at the Silverball Museum in Delray. Pick up the Delray Newspaper and check out the back page for special offers.

Elections! Ok I’m kidding. Just checking to see if your paying attention.

My sister in law Maria’s artichoke chicken (which sadly returned to Pittsburgh).

Texting with Marisa Herman and Scott Porten and watching Scott fall behind as the lightning fingers of Marisa and the quick wit of a certain middle age blogger engulfs him in speed and humor.

Bagels from Bagels With. Also, Bagel with A Schmear, where the owners are beyond nice.

Dinner at Grato in West Palm. Worth the drive from Boca and Delray. Don’t miss the cauliflower side dish.

Kibitzing with the deli crew at Fresh Market.

Seeing Celsius on the shelf at Fresh Market. (Shameless plug number one).

Watching a Miami Heat game and seeing a Tabanero hot sauce ad. We are the official hot sauce of the Heat. (Shameless plug number two).

The weather.

Spending time with and texting with Old School Square founder Frances Bourque.

Voting alongside Jim Nolan. Well known Delray raconteur.

Seeing the Persily’s. Great people.

Visiting with Sandy Tobias and Cathy Weil from the Seagate at The Hamlet.

Name checking Pame Williams.

March Madness brackets and rooting for Syracuse along with Deborah Dowd.

Jen Costello turning 50! Where oh where did the years go? Then again her boys are now a foot taller than I am.

March fact: Delray Beach’s mean credit score is 719, ranking the city 734th in America and in the 71st percentile of cities in terms of credit. Boca’s mean credit score is 722, putting the city in the 76th percentile and ranking the city number 620.
Number one ranked: The Villages, Florida at 807. The  worst credit scores can be found in Camden, NJ at 541.  Stats were compiled by Wallet Hub.

A trip to the Miami Open on picturesque Key Biscayne. The event is moving next year to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens after 32 years at Crandon Park. The move has many locals sad, all the more reason we should keep the Delray Open and stop wasting taxpayer money on a lawsuit that had to be amended by a lame duck commission—an admission that their costly politically motivated suit was on shaky ground. Enough already. (Sorry, couldn’t contain the rant).

Lunch with Mark Sauer at the Cuban Cafe…he’s inspiring. So is his Delray Students First.

Until next month…be safe.

Remembering A Good Man

Bernie Dahlem

We lost a great Delray guy earlier this month and I just can’t let it pass without telling you more about him.
Bernie Dahlem, former president of the Beach Property Owners Association, passed March 6. He was 88.

Mr. Dahlem loved Delray Beach and he gave back in many ways.
I think the biggest gift you can give is the gift of your time as a volunteer.
Time is the one asset you can’t make more off. Once you spend it, it’s gone. Forever.
Bernie gave a lot of his time to Delray and it paid off.

It paid off,  because he was an advocate for the barrier island and it’s neighborhoods but he also took a great interest in the city as a whole. His concern and gentle ways helped a great many civic causes and it’s these types of efforts that builds a strong community.

Mr. Dahlem was also a great advisor to elected officials because he spoke plainly, he spoke softly and he always had his facts straight.
He was also good about suggesting solutions. Bernie was a great touchstone for me during my term in office and I also know he helped many other elected officials on thorny issues relating to parking, bike lanes, traffic, landscaping, beach renourishment, reclaimed water, etc. etc. He always smiled and he always brought you solutions.
That’s a breath of fresh air during days when problems get dumped on you by the truckload.

Maybe that was the engineer in Bernie. Problems were mere equations to be wrestled with and solved.
Mr. Dahlem was an engineer by training and education.
He was also a highly successful shopping center developer in his native Kentucky.

Bernie was the chairman of the Dahlem Company, a commercial construction and real estate concern founded in 1931.
But before joining the family business, Bernie earned advanced degrees in civil engineering and served in the U.S. Navy.
He would remain active for years in the Naval Reserve. Here’s a great photo of my friend that I found on the Internet.

In Kentucky, Mr. Dahlem would become active in the International Council of Shopping Centers, serving as state director of the organization.
Dahlem Construction built several landmark projects in the Bluegrass state including the Actors Theatre of Louisville and several major shopping centers and banks.
He would later serve as president of the Actors Theatre, chair of the Louisville Fund for the Arts, board member of Republic Bank and Louisville Chamber of Commerce.
He was also heavily involved in the University of Louisville where he was inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame as a result of a stellar collegiate swimming career.
And the list goes on. He was a remarkable man.

His obituary also noted that he was a humble and generous man of impeccable character and integrity.
That he was.
We were lucky to have him in Delray.
He will be missed.
Bernie Dahlem left a positive mark on Delray.
I will miss his laugh, his thoughtfulness and that twinkle he had in his eyes.
What a good man, he was.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter and thanks for reading. Be safe.

We Are All Going to School at Stoneman Douglas

A sixth grader from Don Estridge Middle School tells a large crowd at the Old School Square Pavilion that she’s tired of being scared.

We attended the “March For Our Lives” gathering at Old School Square Saturday.
It was moving and important.

We are experiencing a movement in our nation sparked by the amazing students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
They are standing up to the NRA.
They are standing up to our feckless politicians.
They are fearless, committed and have title to the high ground. Their timing couldn’t be better.
America is ripe for change.

And it will be the children of the greatest nation in the history of the world who will restore our ideals.
Yes, this about gun violence, school safety and gun law reforms. But it’s also about citizenship, accountability, responsibility and activism.
In 845 communities all over the world, people are saying they have had enough.

This time it feels different. You can see it in the eyes of the Parkland students and the young people they are inspiring all over the world.
They are not going away. They won’t be bought, co-opted, fooled, triangulated or kept quiet.
Thank G-d.

In Delray, we heard from students including a sixth grader from Don Estridge Middle School who electrified the crowd with a plea for change. She told a capacity crowd that she doesn’t want to be afraid anymore. She doesn’t want to worry about her 9 year old brother coming home safe.
And it was powerful.
We heard from teachers too, including an Atlantic High Journalism teacher who was passionate about voting and getting things done to create a change in our violent society.
It was a day for children and teachers to lead us—not for politicians to pontificate. (Although a few droned on and on and on).

Let the children speak.

It’s time for the adults to listen or get out of the way.

The day gave me hope.
The children will lead us.
Because the so-called leaders have failed us.
The lessons our children are imparting are profound and abundant.
We must hold our elected officials accountable.
We must vote.
We  won’t stop until we succeed.

They are just getting started.
We need change now.
These children are going to deliver it.
Yolanda Renee King, MLK’s 9 year old granddaughter, summed it up.
“Spread the word! Have you heard? All across the nation, we are going to be a great generation!”
Yes indeed.

And just in time too.

#TroubleBrewing

Seems mighty tempting at times.

There’s a growing sentiment that tech companies are spiraling out of control these days.
There’s even a hashtag expressing the sentiment: #techlash.

Facebook is being questioned around the world for its role in sowing electoral discontent and losing control of  its user’s personal data. As a result, its stock has tumbled this week.
Twitter has been assailed for bullying and misogyny and Google and YouTube have had to answer questions about questionable search results and ads from less than savory groups populating it’s platforms.
It’s enough to make you want to live off the grid like my old commission teammate and dear friend Bob Costin.

At way over 6 feet tall we called Bob the “high commissioner” and often joked that he violated Delray’s strict height limits.
Bob was a wonderful commissioner with a terrific sense of humor but he and the Internet weren’t acquainted.

He didn’t have email, didn’t read documents online and if you wanted to talk to him you had to do it the old fashioned way: call him or visit his table at the old Green Owl.
He was there most mornings by 10 a.m.
Ahh..the good old days.
But my point is during my time in office 2000-07, if you wanted to vent you had to email, call or make an appointment.

Prior commissions—pre email—would eagerly await snail mail from their neighbors; so if you wanted to opine you had to write a letter, find an envelope, buy a stamp and look up an address before you could put your thoughts in front your mayor or commissioner.

Today, we have Facebook and other social media platforms where a robust debate rages 24-7 and city politics are a hot topic.

There’s no filter. No fact checkers. No obligation at all to be civil– short of threatening bodily harm which may get you booted—eventually.
It’s changed the game.

As  a result, lots of people don’t want to subject themselves to the abuse, bullying, misinformation and vitriol shelled out by a wide variety of charmers and so they don’t participate in local politics.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have rarely if ever visited most local Facebook pages devoted to Delray politics and recently opted out of one page I was a “member” of. I won’t judge those who indulge, I just don’t want to.

If the platforms featured intelligent debate, I might feel differently.

But what I saw during the recent election cycle was something less than intelligent or interesting.

What did I see?  Anger, division, polarization, innuendo, lies, attacks, hatred.
We should be better than this.
We need to be better than this.
Truth be told, I saw some kindness too. But the ratio of mean to nice is not even close.
And so I’m out.

I will continue to enjoy Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linked In for other things such as sharing pictures of my dogs and birds, promoting local causes and businesses that I like, reading and sharing interesting articles and staying in touch with old friends, favorite teachers and distant relatives.

As for my old friend Bob Costin: he called me in the days leading up to the election blissfully unaware of the toxicity on the Internet.
He’s still not online. He still doesn’t have email.

And he still uses his favorite line when asked why: “my modem is down” before breaking into a laugh I’ve grown to love and cherish.
But despite Bob’s conscious decision to keep his modem on ice, he’s very much rooted in modern life. He’s up on the news (through newspapers), embraces change and is always fun and interesting to talk to.
He was a progressive commissioner back in the day, open to new ideas and had a few of his own as well.

He told me no candidate contacted him before the election. He wasn’t complaining just stating a fact.

But I thought to myself ‘what a shame’ because Bob has so much to share.
And it made me think that at least locally, we ought to make an effort to connect face to face.

We used to have town hall meetings, charettes, neighborhood dinners, community visioning sessions, citizen goal setting workshops and even roasts.
These are the things that build community.

This is why efforts such as WiseTribe, Creative Mornings, Old School Square, Chambers of Commerce, festivals, green markets and pet parades are so important.
It’s harder to demonize someone standing in front of you. It’s easy to do so online.

And if you can’t demonize someone you may find that there is common ground amidst the very real differences. Or at the very least, we may realize that those differences are heartfelt and honest –rooted in beliefs  sincerely held.

Social media has its place. But when it starts to erode community and humanity, count me out.
I think I will stick to pictures of my dogs sleeping and videos of my birds singing.
It feels a whole lot safer this way.

Public Leadership (Doesn’t Have To Be An Oxymoron)

Former Mayor Nancy Graham.

I’m a big fan of ULI, the Urban Land Institute, a global organization that promotes sustainable land use and good design.
So when I was asked to appear on a panel on public leadership with two mayors I admire—West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and former West Palm Mayor Nancy Graham– I jumped at the opportunity.
My son lives in downtown West Palm Beach and so I visit more often than usual these days. I think the city has  some great things going on including start up incubators, some interesting restaurants and the new and exciting Grandview Public Market which has invigorated the Warehouse District.
Mayor Muoio, Mayor Graham and the citizens of West Palm have a lot to be proud of.

Mayor Graham was a transformational leader who put together the groundbreaking deal for City Place and brought walkability expert Jeff Speck to the city years ago to promote vibrant mixed use and pedestrian friendly development.
We’ve  been friends for years and it was good to see her back in West Palm after years in California. She lives in North Florida these days and remains a very vocal advocate for city’s and her beliefs.
We spoke to a group of young leaders who work in land use, planning, architecture, transportation, development, housing and other important disciplines.

Takeaways included the need to have political courage, the need to engage the public around development issues, the importance of having a vision and sticking with it in the face of opposition and the critical need for mayors to always be learning, evolving and leading.

After all, a bright future is not guaranteed. It  needs to be earned and it requires work, vigilance and determination.
Mayors are uniquely positioned to drive positive change. Local government is perhaps the last bastion of progress and possibilities.
Washington D.C. and state capitals tend to be partisan and therefore prone to gridlock and obstruction.
Cities and counties have unique opportunities to effectuate change and think long term.

But only if they choose to do so. I’ve seen many cities seize opportunities and make miraculous progress.
Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and an array of rust belt cities have managed to come back to life through reinvention, strategic investment and political will.
I enjoy reading stories about Detroit and other cities that are finding ways to reverse decades of decay.  It’s inspiring and gives you faith that problems can be solved.

Locally, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Pompano Beach, West Palm and Fort Lauderdale are interesting examples of cities that have employed vision, investment and public engagement to forge promising futures.
Each city was wise to choose its own strategy and “style”.

Delray’s scale and emphasis on the arts, culture, sports and diversity proved to be a winning formula that has paved the way to attract creative industries.  If we stay the course, market our amenities and add to the vision we can have more progress and solve our ongoing challenges.

Pompano Beach is pursuing an innovation district as an anchor offering. The city has made impressive strides in recent years.

West Palm seems to be embracing its role as the county seat and has aspirations to be an important city and not just a ‘hallway’ to the airport, Palm Beach and county government as the mayor noted.
BRAVÒ!
I love cities that aspire. I respect cities that have ambitions, plan for the future and honor the past.
Forward thinking. Political will. Vision. Engagement. Strategic investment. That’s the formula.
I’m glad to see ULI embracing the next generation of leadership. It was a joy to be in the room with energetic leaders who want to build anew and take our cities to the next level.
We have a bright future as a result of these efforts.

Mayor Muio.