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When we came up with the idea for Fix San Diego, we knew it wasn’t something that hadn’t been thought of before. We knew that there were other people and other organizations working to make San Diego a better place every day.
We’ve been having internal conversations about it for a while. You can see a lot of our thinking about San Diego reflected in this June post by our editor, Andrew Donohue. It’s called “We Have a Bias: Things Can Be Better,” a title which is also an excellent summary of Fix San Diego.
There are a few lines from the post that jump out at me:
“We expect a lot from our community’s leaders and its institutions. That’s because our community expects a lot from them.”
“We’re members of this community who care passionately about its future.”
“We come at our work with the belief that things can be better in our government, schools, neighborhoods, institutions and natural environment.”
So what does this idea of improving San Diego look like elsewhere?
One great example is the San Diego Foundation, which oversees charitable giving for a large number of other organizations. First the foundation surveyed San Diegans to find out what they want from the future. Now working groups are using those results to discuss what the next 50 to 100 years will look like. They’re answering some of the same questions we are. Where will our kids and grandkids work and play? How will they learn? How will their transportation, water and housing access work?
TED talks are all about problem-solving and the San Diego conference doubled it up with the theme “Get Your Fix,” with all possible meanings allowed. Find out where you are. Get stimulated and adrenalized. Most importantly, find out what is broken and then remake it.
Dr. Mimi Guarneri told us health education and disease prevention through behavior changes are medical strategies we’re still not using enough. Scott Silverman told us about turning his life around after addiction and then helping others do the same. Jeffrey Church told us about Nika water, the company he founded which donates 100 percent of its profits to help solve poverty and to provide clean water, and about how he got his family involved.
Yet another example, this one from an individual: Just a month ago, John Eger published an editorial in the Union-Tribune called “Next mayor will need to have bold new vision for San Diego.” Eger, a professor of communications and public policy at San Diego State University, called for the next mayor to be future-focused, someone who will pay attention to the creative class that seems to be a requirement for a successful community.
There are plenty of other examples to mention, such as Mayor Susan Golding’s “City of the Future” committee, which Eger chaired, and there’s California Forward, which has similar statewide improvement goals.
These are examples of people thinking in an intelligent, planned way about where San Diegans and Californians are going. You can’t have too many people thinking about this stuff. It’s all hands on deck.
How you can participate in Fix San Diego:
• Join the Fix San Diego Facebook discussion group. It’s a new place for meaningful conversation about what we’re doing right, what needs to be better and what the future should look like. Invite people to the group whose opinions you trust, too.
• Follow Fix San Diego on Twitter and tweet us your ideas or your links to important things we should know. Then, when we tweet Fix San Diego ideas that others have come up with, find an answer. Research it. Investigate. Bring your expertise to bear. Send it to someone else who may have the answer.
What happens to the ideas, suggestions and opinions?
1. Scott Lewis and I look at them. I’ll be sending you a response, questions, confirmations, suggestions and information.
2. I’ll try to find out more about your submission. I’ll look for similar ideas from the past, I’ll look for experts who can reflect on it. I’ll try to add context.
3. VOSD will publish your idea and the information I’ve found and the community will jump in with their responses, suggestions, explanations, discoveries, ideas, etc.
4. We’ll explain Fix San Diego ideas on our KOGO AM 600 radio show, which airs Saturdays at 7:30 a.m.
5. We’ll invite experts, officials and other interested parties to respond.
6. We’ll keep the conversation about your idea flowing as long as there is new information to share.
I’m Grant Barrett, engagement editor for voiceofsandiego.org, in part a new-fangled opinion editor. Got some strong opinions and ideas? Let me help you get them in front of tens of thousands of readers. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (619) 550-5666.
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