Sometimes, you don’t have to go out and find the good news — sometimes the good news just comes to you, like an unexpected gift that makes you smile. That’s how I felt when I read the following missive.
From the desk of Dave Bieter, mayor, city of Boise:
“This is a resourceful, resilient city, one that has weathered downturns in the past and has always emerged sooner and in better shape than our peers elsewhere. As the most geographically isolated metropolitan area in the Lower 48, things literally don’t come easy to us; we have to work harder and smarter than our competitors do even during prosperous periods.
“Rocky Balboa did one-arm pushups so he could punch harder with both fists. Likewise, Boise is always training against adversity, so we possess the reserves of strength to get us through the tough times and help us shine once we emerge.
“Leading the way in that economic renaissance: Downtown Boise. The urban core of Idaho’s capital is a principal economic driver for the Treasure Valley and the state as a whole during good times, and it will become more so as we leave the bad days behind.
“Even in the midst of recession, our city center has continued to exhibit signs of vitality. Our mainstream media seem unfairly fixated on downtown business closings, but from September 2008 to March 2009, 22 businesses opened and only 14 closed. And downtown’s rebirth as a residential neighborhood continues, with condominium projects bringing more than 220 units online.
“I don’t wear sunglasses, much less rose-colored ones; I acknowledge that there may be more months of struggle ahead for our city and its downtown. … When the Downtown Boise Association gathers for its annual meeting next Wednesday (April 22), I hope there will be plenty of blunt talk about the challenges we face.
“But though the downturn may prompt us to adjust our plans and delay our timetables, we must not let it undermine our commitment. As urban theorist Richard Florida wrote recently, the places that will thrive in the post-recession world “are those with the highest velocity of ideas, the highest density of talented and creative people, the highest rate of metabolism.”
“That sounds a lot to me like Boise and its downtown. In the end, all those one-arm push-ups will really pay off.”
(I wanna see some one-arm push-ups!)