Archive for the ‘Community Issues’ Category

Human Capital matters. . . finally!

August 6, 2010

Check out the link below. Those of us who have been promoting the importance of human capital (along with economic, social and cultural capital) may just get some validation. . . finally!


People and food. What matters most.

January 9, 2010

Roger Ebert shared a very heartfelt update with the public this week. It inspired me to think differently about the new year and new year’s resolutions.

After battling cancer and enduring many medical procedures that have taken their toll on him, he misses the human aspect the most.

“What I miss is the society. Lunch and dinner are the two occasions when we most easily meet with friends and family. They’re the first way we experience places far from home. Where we sit to regard the passing parade. How we learn indirectly of other cultures. When we feel good together. Meals are when we get a lot of our talking done — probably most of our recreational talking.”

To view Roger Ebert’s blog post in its entirety go to:

May we all remember why people AND food are important components of daily living.

Understanding Immigration.

October 24, 2009

As I was talking about wanting to visit the White Horse Tavern in the West Village in New York City yesterday, I remarked to my partner that I finally realized why I never read the awesome books of Frank McCourt in high school or college — going to Catholic Schools for 16 years probably had something to do with it given his reflection of growing up a poor Catholic in Ireland and returning to the United States in young adulthood.

Angela’s Ashes and ‘Tis A Memoir should be required reading for every man, woman and child in the United States today!

Before anyone decides their position on immigration reform, health care for immigrants, etc. they need to see that the human condition knows no country boundaries. People are people and how we treat others less fortunate than us says a lot about who we are.

Happy reading!

Why patents matter.

March 6, 2009

For some time, leaders in our community  have talked about the importance of the number of patents filed in our region/state as an indicator of our future economic health and viability.

Tonight, I was honored to be invited to a “patent party” in the Tremont neighborhood where NEW patent-holder Aaron Lemieux, founder of Tremont Electric, gathered family, friends and colleagues to celebrate the issuing of his first patent for an “electrical energy generator”.

Today, more than ever, this patent matters because it is a sign of the wide and varied innovation in our regional economy bubbling below the surface. While much of this activity is hard to measure, when a patent is issued, it counts.

Before partnership agreements . . .

February 14, 2009

there were unwritten rules for doing business. Community values and norms dictated how people did business with each other. A hand shake and a smile was all a person needed to feel comfortable that the person they were doing business with was trustworthy and transparent.

The events of the last year (several years in the making) now require a different approach. What was once thought to be intrinsic to our way of doing business with each other, must now take the form of an explicit communication of our values and principles.

What are your values and how do you live them daily? Stating your values and articulating them as operating principles is a good place to start. If we are to be accountable, we must start with defining for what we are accountable.

Local (people) matter.

December 14, 2008

While reading President-Elect Barack Obama’s “The Audacity of Hope”, I was struck by a metaphor in Chapter Three that he used to describe the U.S. Constitution. . .  “[its understanding] requires a shift in metaphors, one that sees our democracy not as a house to be built, but a conversation to be had.”

It is this very basic philosophy that explains that people (and their perspectives) matter and it is their proximity to other people and perspectives that allows them to create a collective sense of place by, literally, breathing life and words into their surroundings.

People and place matter.

Bright spots in our City . . .

December 3, 2008

. . . are often overlooked, minimized and under-reported. So I challenge everyone to commit themselves to finding one bright spot in our City every day.

Children learning in Montesorri school, parents dropping off their children at school and then heading to school themselves, teen-agers quitting a gang, graduates getting jobs, neighbors decorating together for the holidays, or even a bright white snowflake glistening in the winter sun.

My father always said  . . .If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.

Why community matters.

September 21, 2008

Late yesterday I traveled to my Father’s home town of Patton, Pennsylvania to visit with extended family members and attend Mass officiated by our cousin Bishop David Choby of the Diocese of Nashville, Tennesse. The Mass was a celebration for all members of the Choby Family who where able to attend and a memorial for deceased family members.  The Queen of Peace Parish graciously hosted us in their beautifully renovated sanctuary and welcoming Parish Hall.

During his homily, Bishop Choby emphasized the meaning of family and the community of faith to which we belong.

Across town, other community members were gathering for the traditional Cambria County Homecoming Ceremony and football game.

Today we all returned to our home communities and stepped back into other communities of which we are part.

Community matters because it gives us a sense of purpose, a feeling of belonging, and provides for us a core set of values that guide our daily living and decision-making. Community allows us to live out our values.

Whether in Church or in the football stands, community matters.

What really matters today? IT matters.

September 16, 2008

As I worked in New York City today I realized that many of our leaders think that the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers is the breaking news of the day. I have news for them . . . what is the breaking news of the day are the myriad of other housing and banking challenges American families are facing as I write this blog entry.

Families in Texas don’t know where their next hot meal is coming from, residents of Northeast Ohio are seeking shelter and electricity in the wake of Sunday’s wind storm, and residents of New York City still have to get up tomorrow morning and go to work whether or not Lehman Brothers is open for business.

I think our leaders need to face the facts: our housing industry is in shambles, our banks are ghosts of what they once were, and thousands of more families became homeless today due to foreclosures, out of control utility and insurance costs, and because our country’s leaders don’t get IT!

That is, whatever IT is to you today!

Before quoting Saul Alinsky . . .

July 11, 2008

. . . people should read his greatest works “Rules for Radicals” and “Reveille for Radicals”.

Alinsky is first meant to be understood, then inspiring, and only then, quoted.