Pencils down. These two words were once capable of causing me to panic. The clock’s second-hand would sweep around, as if in slow-motion, signaling the end of an exam. My time had expired; whatever thoughts failed to make their way onto paper were now seemingly useless.
This nostalgic feeling returned last December as I completed my one-year term with the Democrat and Chronicle‘s Board of Contributors. My work felt incomplete despite dozens of blog posts, well-received editorials, and a series of successful meetings with local, statewide and national newsmakers. Yet, something was different. I realized, unlike the classrooms of my youth, I still have time on the clock. In fact, the end of my work at the Democrat and Chronicle marked the start of a new and exciting beginning.
This realization inspired me to launch “Common Wealth,” a personal blog that will serve as an unofficial extension of my work with the Democrat and Chronicle in 2013, especially my renewed passion for civic engagement. “Common Wealth” will continue to draw upon my professional work in communications and business strategy as well as past academic coursework in public policy and politics. Like previous contributions to the Democrat and Chronicle, “Common Wealth” will strive to highlight topical news stories, data-driven trends and personal anecdotes from everyday people.
In an effort to connect these focal points, “Common Wealth” will also propose tangible recommendations to combat poverty, strengthen our business climate, and build regional unity. Ideas will showcase valuable insights from both proven and unexpected sources — regardless of race, class, ethnicity, age or gender — in order to provide substantive, sustainable solutions that strengthen the entire Rochester region. And unlike a common exam with a fast deadline, “Common Wealth” will embrace the spirit that Rochester’s real test isn’t over until we develop clear, compelling answers to solve our community’s greatest challenges.
“Common Wealth” is a direct result of the broad support I received in 2013 from my partner, the Democrat and Chronicle‘s readers, and many friends who supported me during my time with the Board of Contributors. All are invited to join the conversation directly on “Common Wealth,” by following me on Twitter, or connecting on LinkedIn. Thank you for your continued support as we move forward together in the New Year.