By William H. Hudnut III
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Extra info for Cities on the Rebound: A Vision for Urban America
That \Nindow, open in the second-wave period, has now closed. This third wave, which has to do with capacity building, moves beyond issues relating to formal governmental structures. It in- cludes informal and private processes to bring people together to discuss common problems, debate policy, form coalitions, mobilize for political action, and deliver services. ill be done in neighborhood meetings, ad hoc voluntary groups, academic centers for urban research, regional partnerships, and chambers and growth associations, as well as through formal public bodtask forces, and public hearings ("the only place in America where no one listens," as Dan Kemmis, former mayor of Missoula, Montana, is wont to say).
The global economy is a reality, and our cities must be ready to seize the opportunities it presents," says Columbus, Ohio, Mayor Greg Lashutka, who has done a magnificent job of opening his city to the realities of the global economy-from having multilingual airport welcome signs and hotel phone book instructions to establishing a city government Office of International Business to help local businesses find international trading partners and to conduct trade electronically. Fortune points out that "for many major companies, going global is a matter of survival, and it means radically changing the way they work.
13 RCOs can be useful in addressing issues that politicians find too hot to handle. Just try a public discussion of taxing the suburbs in order to equalize the central city burden! In their report on Indianapolis, Neal Peirce and Curtis Johnson suggest the formation of a new citizens task force, a new RCO called PEPCI (Panel on Efficiency and Performance for Central Indiana), to deal with the "hot-potato" issues. It would have to be endowed with authority by the state legislature and the governor, and it would address such matters as fiscal disparities; serious concentrations of poverty and crime; lack of a serious workforce development plan; division of responsibilities among cities, townships, and counties; and regionwide economic growth.