David's Blog

Monday, August 08, 2011

In Collaboration and Celebration

It is an exciting time to live in our beloved community. Optimism is high. Collaboration is valued and expanding. Our pride in the Emerald City is increasingly obvious to those who visit us and to those who observe our Shining City on the Hill from afar. It is, therefore, an ideal time to see who is here with us in our community - and celebrate. It is time to gather ourselves and to do so in celebration. We are the ones our predecessors have been waiting for to lead us to a prosperous future.

Our community's recent progress has been realized through a shared effort. Union members, labor leaders, elected officials and business owners and operators have stood together to advance our community's interests. One recent example of this remarkable partnership for progress is when our community came together to oppose the 2011 State Legislature's proposed reduction of $31 million in annual local government aid to Duluth.

Business leaders joined with local elected officials and local labor leaders to provide a unified coalition of defense against the proposed cut. Our shared defense attributed to the cut to Duluth's local government aid being far less disruptive - only 10% of the originally proposed amount. When we unite in our defense of Duluth, we do far better.

If Duluth is going to remain vibrant, leaders with disparate views and interests must, whenever possible, continue to place the greater good of Duluth above our parochial interests. The Chamber's leadership gets it. This is why our mission includes the call to provide collaborative leadership within our community.

We recognize the time of the lone wolf is over. It is time to gather ourselves. We must banish the word "struggle" from our attitude and our vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a collaborative manner and in celebration.

It is the great things that have called us together, the subjects around which a circle of seekers have always gathered. Our ancestors gathered around a fire in a circle to discuss the activities of the day. Family members gather around their kitchen tables to discuss important issues. The Chamber's leadership welcomes opportunities to gather together with others in community dialog. We recognize that it will be through courageous dialog that we harvest the collective wisdom of our community.

We recognize that we are only one group - but we are one. We recognize that we cannot do many things to advance our beloved community - but we can do one thing. That one thing is to reach out to other individuals and other groups and to do so in a spirit of mutual respect. Count us in.

In support,

David Ross, President & CEO

posted by David Ross at


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