One of the goals we set for Echo this year is to press our people into "owning" their city. Cincinnati is an amazing place and, the more we realize it, the more we'll make a difference here. Tonight I attended the Walnut Hills Area Council for the first time [it's been on my "to-do list" but I didn't check it off until now]. Our neighborhood has made the news in the past month because of a bar shooting and a major drug bust. The Cincinnati Police were present at the meeting to reassure the council that they were doing their best to make it a safe community. It should be noted that they've accomplished this: all areas of crime are significantly lower this year than the last five years.
After the meeting quite a few people came up to introduce themselves to me, encouraged that we had started a church in the area. One couple, who have lived in the area more than twenty years, made the following statement, "if only people knew all the good that happens in this community, they'd have a different impression of Walnut Hills." And it's the truth. But good news doesn't make the news. So I guess it's our job to spread that gospel.
This has been on my mind this evening because I've had a great week talking to people about our city. There are many people out there who, like Kelly and me, are passionate about its future and our investing themselves here; they're not buying into gloom and doom that people spread about our inner city but are enthusiastic about what lies ahead.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: you should be here. You're missing out on a lot of good stuff.
*Related note: Check out this article from the New York Times about the misery connected to suburban flight.