United We Stand-Divided? Not so Much——
In the General Engineering sector, things could not be too much better for our workers, our owners, and our citizens who are seeing, and will continue to see dramatic improvements to our local and State infrastructure. There comes a time where we should sit back and appreciate those truths.
Of course, there are a few blemishes on the rosy picture I am suggesting. Yes-it is true that California is paying a lot more for fuel than almost any other State other than Hawaii and one or two others. Yes, it is true that our available labor force is tight. And yes, it is true that it costs a lot to live in the gorgeous area of Northern California. But I do not wish to dwell on those negatives, as this is a Soapbox focused on our collective efforts to get where we have gotten!
As an example of how strong we can be if we “unite” behind a cause, I want to remind you of a time 25 years ago when our industry was not appreciated for our collective ability to clean up the biggest fire debris pile in our history, nor were we appreciated for our work in the Community to help others less fortunate. Nor were we friends of elected officials who feared growth because they felt we would become another San Jose if we grew much more.
Years ago, it seemed as if no dollars would go into our infrastructure and we were destined to have growth restrictions because Highway 101 was going to forever be a 2-lane bottleneck for those who live North of Corte Madera. The late great Jim Ghilotti spearheaded an effort to pass a sales tax initiative that has changed our entire region for the better. Arguably because of Jim’s efforts to pull all of us together to back Measure M, we now see the Sonoma County Airport having scheduled flights to the Northwest, Minnesota, Denver and Southern California, amongst other destinations. Because of the increased capacity of Highway 101, we see growth in our Cities that leads to stabilizing the services provided by those Cities. That “smart growth” has allowed young people to have opportunities for careers that they might otherwise not have had.
So here we are in 2019-will we ever have such a single event “unifier” as we did 25 years ago? As we watch the news, it seems our Country and our State could not be less unified than now. Wouldn’t it be nice to all come together and at least appreciate what we have right now instead of the constant clamoring by candidates to “Change Everything”. Of course, there are improvements that can be made to our Country, our Society, and our Economy.
Perhaps our great “unifier” of 2019 is simply to appreciate what we have and make sure we let people know how good we collectively have it. We do not need to tear things apart, but we need to come together and solve our problems collectively, and in a unified manner.
But can we come together for one day and unify in our appreciation of our freedom, our wonderful opportunities we have, and gather our family and friends for one day to enjoy a barbecue, some homemade ice cream and watch some fireworks that honor our independence? Can we set aside the nonstop POTUS bashing, the criticism of capitalism, the arguments over health care for all, and the other endless issues we are bombarded with every day? Can we not come together and just “be”?
I hope we all can set aside our differences and celebrate July 4, 2019 in a safe and “respectful to all” manner. If we can, our families will win, our friends will win, and our State and Country will win. Just for one day.
So, in the spirit of Jimmy G, can we all appreciate for one day the bounty and the freedoms we all enjoy?
I hope so—
Happy Independence Day to All of You!!
That’s all folks