… to provide opportunity, income, and security – and to reduce the growing load carried by local charities? And what if it helps revitalize our downtown and rebuild our regional economy – and, because it involves food, it’s something that everyone can rally around?
Because you’ve identified yourself as someone who cares about shaping a different, and better course for Colorado Springs, what I want to share with you is a big idea whose time has come. Thankfully, it does not rely on government-driven change – which we all know is a non-starter right now.
Following the completion of my congressional campaign last year, I had the opportunity to re-commit to an initiative near and dear to my heart. I’ve been working closely with a group of more than 100 others in our community – each of them passionate, enlightened, knowledgeable and connected – to create a Public Market here in the Springs. Of course I’m biased, because the Public Market embodies the critical elements of the economic reboot we’ve been seeking for so long. If this project isn’t THE most important thing we can do, it belongs right up there.
Here’s how we describe the Market:
“A year-round, landmark destination to serve the entire community with locally grown and produced food and related goods … with flexible space for arts, entertainment, education, wellness, even business incubation.” But of course, there’s more to it than that (find the bigger story in our Executive Summary and Feasibility Study.)
What the Market can really do is serve as a linchpin for broad-based localization of our Front Range economy:
• Beyond its compelling role as a place where the community gathers, and where eaters join producers, the Market will be an incubator, a site for skills training, and a resource hub for business and creative collaboration.
• Greater than the exchange that happens when we’re there, the Public Market represents a true point of market access for local producers – a genuine, ongoing alternative to extractive, corporate commerce that drains income from our community.
As I said at the top, the Public Market is an idea whose time is now. Sharing ideas begets more ideas and interest; we were astounded to see the Market emerge as a top community priority in a recent informal survey.*
From just an emerging idea a year ago, the Market is moving forward. We are privileged to participate in this year’s Indy GIVE! campaign, along with 58 other fine organizations that are working hard to make our community an even better place to live. If the Market resonates with you, I hope you’ll join me in making a contribution through GIVE! – and even earn some fun rewards as part of the deal.
And of course, we welcome your further engagement with the Market – join us here to stay in the loop.
Thanks very much,
P.S. I know you have many opportunities to support worthy causes throughout the year, and particularly now – let me advocate that there is no better way to reduce the need for local charity than through the economic foundation a Public Market can provide.
*For additional third-party validation about localization’s potential for positive economic impact, consider The 25% Shift studies here in Colorado, in Ohio and Massachusetts. (linked). Reply and I will be pleased to provide additional information about what others are achieving or how to get involved.