By Richard Harwood
November 7, 2013
Last week we successfully launched our Reclaiming Main Street Campaign, starting in Washington, D.C. I'm embarking on this effort because I believe we must remind ourselves -- and reclaim the practical idea -- that community is a common enterprise. We must get past the dysfunction in today's politics and public life and create a new path forward. I believe that each of us can help shape this new, constructive direction. On the day of the kick-off, I was asked the same question -- first on Wisconsin Public Radio, then again just after my speech, and in various other conversations: What do we hope to accomplish?
Here's my response: Too much of our community and public life is about what people are against. Consider Exhibit A -- the recent federal government shutdown. Then there's the ongoing ObamaCare drama, the nasty Virginia gubernatorial election and countless other situations both in our nation's capital and in our communities. Progress is hard to come by nowadays. Division and acrimony have become a way of life.
The Reclaiming Main Street Campaign is about what people are for. Through the campaign, we seek to:
1. Remind ourselves that community is a common enterprise. None of us can go it alone, on our own. 2. Provide practical steps -- including hands-on tools that people and organizations can use in their communities - to articulate our shared aspirations, do shared work, and tell a new story about our ability to come together and get things done. 3. Invite people to come together with a growing number of individuals across the country who are joining our Public Innovators Corps -- people who want to help produce positive change in their daily lives in their communities.