Over a year ago, the Brookings Report on Pennsylvania, “Back to Prosperity, A Competitive Agenda for Renewing Pennsylvania”, was published. It reported many serious challenges now facing our state:
- We are losing our young people – the “brain drain”
- Pennsylvania is barely growing in population
- Even with no real growth in population, construction continues at an alarming pace. This results in development spreading out into farmland and “out migration” of people hollowing out our cities and boroughs
- The state’s transitioning economy is lagging.The Brookings Report was a wake up call. These negative trends will continue to degrade the environment and hurt our economic competitiveness — unless change happens.
In order to turn this situation around, citizens throughout Pennsylvania must work together to forge a new future for the Commonwealth.But how? As a first step, people are reading the report* and becom- ing comfortable with the ideas it presents. Additionally, all over the state, citizens are talking about the report. This is happening both spontaneously as well as under the umbrella of RenewPA, an organi- zation formed to coordinate the statewide response to the Brookings report. Regular citizens are brainstorming about ways that they, both as individuals and as members of their professional communities, can develop ideas to move Pennsylvania forward. The Lehigh Valley’s effort, RenewLV, has established a listserve. Those in our region who have read the report and want to discuss these issues are encouraged to join the discussion at <http://lists.topica.com/lists/renewPA>.Even more important than “talking the talk”, though, is “walking the walk”. Where you choose to live, work, play, and spend your money has a huge impact on the future environment and economy of your neighborhood, our region, and the Commonwealth. Working together with others and the resource of this Directory, you can have a powerful impact. Your choices matter.
By Joyce Marin, Co-chair, RenewLV
* Available at www.brookings/pennsylvania