What: Economic Development Discussion Series
When: Monday, September 12 at 6 p.m.
Where: EB Stanley Middle School, Cafeteria (297 Stanley Street, Abingdon, VA 24210)
Abingdon, Va.— Local organizations (including the Washington County Virginia Organizing Chapter, Washington Independent Neighbors, Friends of Abingdon, the League of Women Voters, and more) have come together to organize a series of discussions that invite ALL residents of the county to be involved in deciding what the Washington County economy looks like in 10 or 20 years.
“A growing number of citizens in Washington County are concerned about a ‘one size fits all’ approach to economic development in recent years. Whether it is proposed gas drilling, a Walmart, Food City’s Meadows project, a truck stop next to an elementary school, or a quarry next to a quiet neighborhood, our local elected officials and economic development professionals should be more concerned with public input,” said Neal Mullins.
“Many of us are sick and tired of fighting bad economic development projects only to see our county leaders approve, even subsidize these destructive projects with our taxes,” said Steve Fisher , a long-time county resident. “We are inviting local folks to be part of an effort to create a new economic vision for our county.”
These community discussions will happen on each of the next four Monday nights from 6-8 p.m., starting Monday, September 12, at EB Stanley Middle School. The next discussions will be at Damascus Middle School (September 19), Wallace Middle School (September 26), and Glade Spring Middle School (October 3).
Linda Mashburn stated, “We hope these economic discussions are the beginning of a four- to six-month process to give the County Supervisors economic development alternatives to big box stores or truck stops.”
Washington County residents are invited to attend one of the series of informal economic discussions to help the county grow an economy that works for everyone, and where everyone is invited to join in the conversation. These forums will offer the opportunity to plan and implement a clear vision — to be proactive instead of continuing to fight economic projects proposed by powerful outside interests. Community members will be encouraged to reflect on questions like:
· How do you want Washington County to look in 10 or 20 years?
· What kinds of businesses and employment opportunities should our leaders be promoting?
· How should economic development taxpayer funds be spent?
The sponsoring groups want to engage county leadership with positive ideas that support local, sustainable economic development, entrepreneurial opportunities, and well-paid, meaningful work.
To interview a spokesperson for Virginia Organizing, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.