The process of economic development is rooted in the act of implementing strategic steps that result in the creation of a sustainable, vibrant and supportive community. The recent senseless actions that led to the death of George Floyd a week ago is deeply troubling. Those events and the underlying roots of actions are anathema to any possibility of economic development. We also must remember that George Floyd’s murder was not an isolated incident – and that there are tragic historical elements that must be realized, confronted, and met with strong and consistent actions and efforts.
Thurston County is a community that values healthy communities – we cherish our children and youth; we respect our neighbors, we see partnerships in the pillars of our community. The Thurston Economic Development Council is a broadly constructed organization – comprised of leaders from the entire region brought together to create a dynamic and sustainable economy that supports the values of the people who live and work here. We have a strong ethos of service, partnership and inclusiveness – but we can and must do more to ensure that our organization and its leadership reflect the diversity of our community. We will invest in making that happen going forwards.
We must stand in solidarity with those in the Black community and with people of color everywhere. We must use economic development and investment in communities of color as one tool to eradicate systemic racism. We will also examine our organization’s work and programs to ensure that objective is expressly incorporated and reflected in what we do. Without that solidarity and supportive network that communion brings, there can be no true economic development. We all have a role in building a truly dynamic and vibrant community.