I'm not a "little s", I'm a "big G"
by Kathryn Rice, Ph.D.
November 1, 2016
As I look out the window of the airplane I am on, flying my second leg from Texas to California, I see miles of wind turbines, one of the ways in which investors in our country are experimenting to prepare for the energy needs of the future. And again, as always, my thoughts come back to the area in which I live - south DeKalb County. What are we doing to advance our region, our country, the world and ourselves? How are we exercising the potential and power given to us by God?
Everyday, while traveling through parts of Atlanta, I am struck by the growth I see occurring. Metro Atlanta is the top growth area in the southeast and one of the top 5 in the United States. Yet, when I come back home to south DeKalb, I am struck by what I don't see. It's like we live in an alternate universe. Where are the construction of tall buildings, streetcars, hotels, convention centers, or stadiums? Where are the innovative, sustainableitems like tiny homes, smart cars, hover boards, rent-a-bikes, and many others? All of these things are happening in other parts of metro Atlanta. In south DeKalb, we haven't gotten what already exists much less what the future will bring.
We (some of us here in south DeKalb) have been talking about our need for economic development. We are not just talking about businesses and jobs. We are and have been talking about our future and what WE want it to look like and how WE want it to be. We want to see centers of striking, sustainable art structures surrounded by beautiful eco-structured homes or townhomes, populated by local retail shops as well as some big box stores. This is known as live, work, play. And, in other areas in south DeKalb, we want to see large corporate industrial businesses whose presence spawns distributors, suppliers, smaller local vendors and competitor businesses. We want to see heavy and light rail running through south DeKalb so we can build what is known as transit oriented development - homes, commerce and entertainment focused around transportation stops.
Some might call this dreaming. By faith, we call it creating our reality. Dream it, plan it and commit to implementing it and others will join you. I don't want to be known as "little s" that indicates where we are situated - south DeKalb. I want to be known by a "big G" - Greenhaven, an area that stands for economic growth, eco- sustainability, environment. I am ready to stand up and say we are not where someone else put us; we are where we decide to be.