This week, we are asking those who read, believe in and benefit from Strong Towns to support us by becoming members of the Strong Towns movement. Our small nonprofit is supported primarily through donations from members like you and we need your help to keep doing this important work.

Karla Blaginin is a Strong Towns member from Atlanta, GA who holds degrees in math, statistics, and sociology. She has a Colombian mother and a Filipino father, and she's a Russian citizen by marriage. Today, she shares her thoughts on why Strong Towns is a vital movement for Americans from all backgrounds.


Karla with her two children

Karla with her two children

I'm a member of the Strong Towns movement because the contemporary urban structure's alignment with ecological premises is a platform that ethnically collective demographics (like Latinos) know all too well, yet have been given no space in the intellectual development of this field. The well meaning constructs being developed foster a narrative that denies external knowledge from underrepresented communities. My hope is that the need for resources to be directed towards multicultural American students to engage this field become articulated and resources are developed to expand this scholarship—a multicultural lens on urban development aligning with ecological realities.

America is ready to establish a sustainable economy in sectors such as academia, politics, healthcare and society based on the grounded perspective of the American multicultural.  This particular demographic better engages their immigrant elders' knowledge (aligned on principles of locality and sustainability – ecological premises), in a modern platform where the rights to freedom and the pursuit of happiness is central to his/her present experience. This could provide contemporary urban development a much needed substantive and consistent basis for an inclusive theoretical foundation.

Structuring an engaged narrative that is inclusive to how all major American demographics experience their communities is the basis of cultivating strong citizens, which is what the Strong Towns movement will come to rely on to see its mission fulfilled. Strong Towns can play a major role by recognizing that the strong citizen has to be recognized along a spectrum that is constantly changing over time. 

This narrative is needed now particularly since there is an established divide between the demographics and perspectives of our managing bodies, and those that are being managed. Today's politics have entrenched this divide, which will take a long time to counter. The present administration has now announced infrastructure plans that are solely aligned with corporate sustenance. Communities need to respond by disengaging from external (federal) resources and creating their own. Any complex organism threatened by its surroundings adapts by re-structuring its DNA, its information blueprint. The American multicultural can direct this design in communities across the country.

Strong Towns is a movement that crosses partisan, geographic and ethnic boundaries. If you are a strong citizen working to build a sustainable local community, we want you as a member of this movement

(Top photo by Johnny Sanphillippo)


Related stories