Wake Up the Future is Coming

IMG_9086Walking along the lake trail in Austin,Texas the quiet was disturbed by two large splashes. A quick glance didn’t satisfy my curiosity, so I continued walking to make the predetermined exercise schedule. After all the doctor insists my aging body will benefit more from regular brisk walks rather than my tendency to stroll and daydream.

One half mile into the walk was no time to explore this strange splash. There were no dogs around nor was I expecting a large reptile to be the culprit though the thought crossed my mind. This is Austin not the Florida Everglades.

So much for me managing my fears. Some 20 minutes later I heard the splashes again but no signs of life. No dog paddling to shore or turtles jumping from their resting rocks or floating logs. It dawned on me maybe I should determine if there was a problem.

It was early morning and there was enough time in my schedule for me to detour. But instead I decided someone else was better qualified to explore the high grass, better able to help if help was needed. I did what we can’t afford to do when we are faced with unusual signs of unusual events, troubling facts or menacing downward trends.

When it comes to metro Atlanta trends in job retention and creation, business investment, seniors and children’s unmet needs and population swings, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Doug Hooker says we aren’t as great as we could be and the competition is busy working to take our position as the premier city of the South East region. “Atlanta is at a historical inflection point as a regional community,” said Hooker, executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission. “We need to re-examine, revisit and recreate the institutions and economic mechanisms to continue to grow in a healthy, thriving way as we did in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.  If (we don’t), we’ll still be a major city in the Southeast, but we certainly won’t be the premier city in the Southeast.”

As the native daughter of Philadelphia – a city that has struggled for over 70 years to reclaim its position as a premier American city – I know firsthand how hard it is for a city to regain the top position when it’s lost.

Wake up the future is coming.


  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    “…grow in a healthy, thriving way as we did in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.” ???
    The City barely grew 2% in population in the 60s and lost over 20% of its population in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Even today the most optimistic population estimate is 10% less than the 1970 population.

    The City should study the reasons it lost its way, with no political and cultural blinders employed and no holds barred. The results won’t be pretty and won’t reflect well on past leaders and personages.

    One thing for certain – encouraging immigrant population to settle in the City will not help attain former glory. It’s pretty obvious the Mayor wants to retain black voting control at any and all costs.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. An honest, objective assessment is needed to understand the past. And frank debate of facts and data is needed to determine next steps.

    • Burroughston Broch says:

      Do you have a sense that such an assessment is possible? I don’t see the Mayor as a willing participant.

  3. The mayor certainly could lead the discussion. So could others. It might be too early it expect because facts and research aren’t widely accepted as trends of the future. It’s easier to ignore the trends and to concentrate on present conditions and a lot more acceptable to most residents and leaders. Doug Hooker is in a position to remind us of the trends.