Editor's note: Every month, we give our visiting editors the opportunity to write a small editorial on a subject of their choice. It is an optional part of their three-month experience on our editorial board.
In times like we are in now, with our community struggling through unemployment, crime and blight, and our local governments strained, it is easy to become defeated and accept the status quo. However, there has never been a time where it is more important to not accept it.
Many people will give a variety of reasons we cannot try new approaches or achieve new goals. I would ask them to allow all options to be put on the table. We should be willing to look at new ideas to make our streets safer, our economy stronger and our community more vibrant.
These new ideas do need to come from somewhere, whether you are a concerned citizen, a business owner, or a community leader, now is the time to picture the kind of future you want to see for our community and start suggesting ways to get there. It could be an idea as straightforward as a new afterschool program for our youth, to something as complex as dealing with the obstacles to bringing new employers here.
Some may be skeptical that now is the time, but our leadership is ready to take on new challenges. Mayor Garrad Marsh said in his State of the City address, "What I am not willing to do is just accept the status quo, especially when we could do so much better." He is not the only leader that is ready. In Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Chairman Vito Chiesa's State of the County address he showed similar sentiments: "We cannot settle resolutely for mediocrity; for if we settle for the mediocrity of the past, we set an inevitable course of decline for our future."
It is OK for us to want more. It is OK to want to strive for the best and brightest future for our cities and the county. It is OK to think big.
Riddle, of Modesto, is a senior analyst at MCOL, a publisher of health care business information.