Recently I went to a Southern Nevada Strong forum where several community leaders got together to discuss the development of Southern Nevada. The objective of the project is to form coalitions to make the community more desirable and more “livable”. The goal was not just to figure out how to make this region more desirable but also to identify what makes it more desirable. This project is now entering year two and it has identified key components to improving all major aspects of our area, like improved housing, transportation and education. In their own ways improving these three major sectors would have a positive impact on other issues like better jobs and better health, according to the panelists.
The event took all day and we heard from speakers from a variety of organizations and endeavors like developers, professors, philanthropists and analysts. Every speaker was engaging and everyone played a huge part in getting us all excited about the positive impact we can make.
We learned about the importance of accessibility to homes, grocery stores, parks and transportation and how all of these should come together as a package to make development work.
Perhaps the most important thing I heard was that we can’t compete city against city we have to do this together as a region. It’s what will put us on par with other Metroplex areas like Denver, Phoenix or L.A. and what would drive young professionals to Las Vegas. In fact, I recall someone saying new research shows that the younger professional generation is choosing where to live based on quality of life not career. In Las Vegas we need to improve in both areas through things like economy diversification and improved transportation to get to our recreational areas and national parks.
Perhaps there was more spoken about where we are lacking and what we need to do rather than what we are already doing and where we excel, but that’s okay we are identifying problems and that’s a good thing. All that’s left is to address these problems or “be Superman” as one of the panelists described it.
The most amazing thing about this effort was that we are building coalitions and meeting new people. This can lead to great things. For example, Dr. Shawn Gerstenberger from UNLV leads a program where health specialists visit homes to test for lead. Well imagine if we could provide those residents with a package of resources with information about everything from health insurance access to community programs and job resources? His program has a captive audience and so do others and if we combine our resources we can make a deeper more positive impact.
Anyway, it starts with a thought and then a desire and every single person in that room has the desire to make this community better, not just for them, but for future generations.
Our team at Ramirez Group is very excited to be a part of these efforts and pretty soon we’ll be reaching out to you to take part in this great venture.
For more information log on to: www.southernnevadastrong.org