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Opinion Piece - Huchingson

Huchingson: Reimagining Our Economic Future

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. (October 17, 2018) – Since January, I have had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of Lake County residents, first through our five Community Visioning Forums in January, then more than two dozen Community Visioning Updates before business associations, service organizations and senior centers, and again in June, with roundtable discussions at our three Economic Development Visioning Forums.

On each occasion, I have been heartened by the resilience and ingenuity of Lake County’s people, and moved by the depth of our shared commitment to facing the deep-seated issues that hamper our distinct communities, and building a brighter future.

There is no doubting that Lake County has known hardship: nine disasters in a three-year span; cycles of poverty that are deep and systemic; outcomes in public health and education that have consistently placed us toward the bottom of state rankings.

However, in my more than two decades as a Lake County resident and leader in our County government, I have repeatedly seen individuals, families and organizations rise above the floodwaters of the challenges that come, break through the shackles of low expectations and achieve incredible things, for the betterment of us all.

I have seen wildfire and displacement bring generosity and a nurturing spirit to entire neighborhoods.  I have seen financial hardship bring creativity, seen leaders stand up, and inspire those around them to unceasingly search for pathways to success, to recognize those resources that we have in abundance.

Vision 2028, passed by the Board of Supervisors in April, was an invitation to look beyond the immediate difficulties we face, and ask a basic question: What kind of community do we want to become?

Do we want to continue to struggle to do more with less, or do we want to expand ourselves and our opportunities?  Enhancing public safety, fully recovering from disaster, improving our infrastructure, making internet access for all a reality, caring for Clear Lake – these things require a stronger, more vibrant economy.

Next week, in Kelseyville and Nice, renowned North Bay Economist and Sonoma State Professor Robert Eyler will share a plan developed through June’s Economic Development Forums.  This truly exciting plan identifies specific opportunities for growth in our communities.  

Realizing the plan will require that we all do our part, that we all shed some old views and collectively reimagine our economic future.  Please join County and community leaders, Dr. Eyler, and the Lake County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC), and support our taking critical steps to move Lake County forward.

Wednesday, October 24, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Kelseyville High School Student Center
5480 Main St, Kelseyville

Thursday, October 25, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Robinson Rancheria Ballroom
1545 State Highway 20, Nice

For more information, call the County Administrative Office at 707-263-2580 or the Lake County Economic Development Corporation at 707-279-1540 x 101.