Our vision: Meeting Local Needs Locally
Here is the vision we generated at our house party:
In 2030, Albany is along a path to meeting its own needs locally: It made it out of the economic transition by focusing on green jobs: improving the energy efficiency of our old buildings while preserving their historic character, developing local wind and solar capacity, growing the local foods and other local manufacturing sectors. Also, a local-purchasing movement by all the large institutions (city, county, state gov’t, higher ed, hospitals) has created a much stronger network of locally-based companies, from vendors to professional services, creating even more jobs. Our walkable neighborhoods full of local businesses have been protected and strengthened and big-box, car-oriented development has not been allowed to encroach. There is a functional and compassionate safety net addressing the full range of human needs, working from a harm-reduction model. We have a responsive government and a strong city council and when we want to make a change we feel empowered to work with our representatives to make it happen.
Formerly boarded buildings in Arbor Hill and the South End have been fixed up and are owned by families, many lower-income, who had stuck it out through the tough times. Landlords are responsive to tenants and know they will be called on it if they don’t. Central Avenue is known as the “international” commerical district and its many small shops and restaurants are a big draw. Everyone shovels their sidewalks in the winter and plants flowers in the summer. There are more trees everywhere.
We are known as a model of a low-carbon-footprint city. The city school system has been purposefully integrated on the basis of income (as was done in the Raleigh-Durham area), and all children are now attending schools that are performing well. As we leave our houses to go to the 2030 celebration, we catch a trolley or electric bus, or stroll/bike down a green corridor toward the river, where of course it will be held, with no 787 shadow in sight.
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