We're thrilled to share a recent op-ed in the New York Times written by friend of Strong Towns, Gracy Olmstead. The article, titled "Can ‘Localism’ Restore Sanity to U.S. Politics?" touches on many issues that we're concerned with at Strong Towns including crossing political divides and building local economic power.
Gracy begins the article by discussing the political differences between her and her mayor, then stresses the fact that these divisions do not prevent them from working together for the good of their town:
Our partisan political differences mean nothing when it comes to caring for this town and making it better. Here at the local level, our interests intertwine: They are practical, achievable, even apolitical.
This is localism, a bottom-up, practically oriented way of looking at today’s biggest policy dilemmas. Instead of always or only seeking to fix municipal issues through national policy, localism suggests that communities can and should find solutions to their own particular problems, within their own particular contexts. The best walkability solutions for Washington, D.C., may not work in my town. Urban revitalization efforts in Detroit will need to look different than those efforts employed in rural Iowa. [...]
If we’re to find hope and unity for our politics in this fractured era, localism may be the perfect place to start.
We highly encourage you to read the full article and keep an eye out for some quotes from Chuck Marohn about the Strong Towns movement.