I attended two events this week and the topic of intense interest was regional cooperation and regional transportation. I know some of you are saying, "Are we still talking about this?" and fortunately the answer is yes. Honestly, we must continue to talk about it and take action, or 10 years from now the RVA may be looked upon as a region with much promise and unfulfilled potential.
At a dinner this week, we solved the regional cooperation problem in two hours over steak, salmon and cheesecake. The group included: Republicans, Democrats, a prominent public servant, a lobbyist, liberals and conservatives, and it was refreshing to see much we all agreed upon.
And all of us live in different parts of the region, so common circumstances were not necessarily apparent. But what we did all have in common was a desire for Richmond to be a "World Class" region with easy transportation between the cities and the counties. That goal cannot be accomplished unless we have a team of conflicting views at the table having honest civil dialogue about why Richmond is not moving quickly on this issue. Before we can solve the regional transportation problem, we have to have an honest discussion about the regional cooperation problem. That means a discussion of opportunities, fears, latent and overt racist feelings and most importantly, education and a vision of what a truly progressive region looks and feels like. Here's the reality, we change and grow or we die economically and culturally.
Our city and counties have had tremendous growth over the years and I am proud to live here. Now we need to focus more on being the best and growing "together."