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What is your vision for our community?

“Without a vision, the people will perish” is a proverb as true today as in ancient times. We are fortunate that many people and organizations in our community have articulated visions for the future and are working to enact them. It can be valuable to learn about those visions, reflect on how they resonate with your own and join up with those who share your common ideals.

Local First’s vision is a thriving, equitable and sustainable economy that values people, planet and prosperity for everyone across Southwest Colorado. This “triple bottom line” vision improves on the conventional profit-focused notion of the bottom line, by which corporations extract profit from communities with little regard for people and the planet.

The localist movement seeks to counter the rising corporate dominance of our society and thereby expand the freedom and agency of ordinary people who sustain a vibrant community and the small businesses that power a local circular economy. We are joining like-minded organizations to amplify the voice of values-driven small businesses in the policy arena.

A thriving community depends on the vision and contributions of many actors. Our community benefits from visionary philanthropy to enhance its quality of life and solve critical problems. An example is in the recent donation by the Durango Industrial Development Foundation to the Regional Housing Alliance to spur the development of more affordable housing.

At the Local First Member Celebration on May 29, we will have the opportunity to hear local philanthropist Marc Katz share his vision for what is destined to become another jewel of our community: the Durango Mesa Park. Katz bought and donated the 1,850-acre property (formerly Ewing Mesa) to the Durango Mesa Park Foundation with a vision for its preservation and use to enhance our community’s economic vitality – a triple-bottom line vision.

We will also honor three locally owned, independent businesses or nonprofits nominated by our members for demonstrating the best of the localist vision:

  • The Local Legend: A local, independent business that never fails to inspire us all to be great and do great.
  • The Rising Star: A newer local, independent business that is out of this world.
  • The Community Collaborator: A local, independent business or nonprofit that goes the extra mile to bring together and collaborate with their community.

We would love to have you join our Member Celebration on May 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. May 29 at the Powerhouse Science Center. If you are not already a member of Local First, join today as a business or nonprofit member or donate to become an individual Localist in support of our vision. Visit our website (local-first.org) to learn more.

Doug McCarthy is CEO of Local First.