News from the Top: Ushering in a New IDA Chair
As I reflect on my time as chair of IDA, I am deeply encouraged and inspired by the community that this organization convenes and serves. In the best of times and the most challenging of times alike, this community exemplifies grit, resiliency, and dedication. You are innovators, collaborators, and can-doers.
As I’ve stood before you two years ago to accept my role as chair of the board – in a packed room in San Antonio, I might add – I talked about resiliency. Today, “resilience” is a word we hear and read constantly. It’s become a buzzword, a term you hear so often, the meaning becomes diluted. But as I close out my term as chair, I would be remiss in not celebrating and acknowledging the way that this community as defined resiliency.
Across our cities and districts, resiliency has meant miles of new bike and pedestrian thruways that are helping people get around our cities safely and in more eco-friendly ways. It has meant thousands of new patio cafes that are keeping businesses afloat while delighting customers with vibrant, pandemic-friendly experiences. It has meant new murals and public art installations in our public realms are spreading messages of hope.
We have captured every opportunity to bring vibrancy to our districts and in many cases, helped people to experience places in ways they never have before. And all the while, we are also having the tough conversations behind the scenes, driving effective policy, advocating for our local businesses, and championing diversity and inclusion.
I want to thank my fellow International Downtown Association members for the constant source of inspiration, expertise, and support, and to David Downey and the IDA team for their passion and vision for building this remarkable community of citybuilders. I look forward to what’s next under Kathleen Rawson’s leadership and I look forward to continuing to collaborate with all of you as we work to build great, resilient cities.