Growth5 Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Eggs and Chickens

"A chicken," author Samuel Butler wrote, "is an egg's way of making another egg."

I thought of that unconventional thought recently in connection with a young non-profit, The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance. The Alliance is a group of young families committed to staying in Baltimore City rather than running to the suburbs to raise their children.

Calling themselves "The Movement to Stay," they are approaching the problems of the city from a unique perspective.

Conventional wisdom says that the city will be better when the schools are better, or when it's safer, or when more businesses come to town, or when housing prices change. Or. Or. Or. The problem is that decades of conventional wisdom has not worked.

DBFA, on the other hand, counters that the city will be better when more young middle class families choose to settle and stay. So they are working to attract and retain more of them. From an historical point of view, the logic is interesting. After all, the city's future dimmed when middle class families fled. Couldn't the process work in reverse?

Perhaps we've been working on the chicken when we should have been focusing on the eggs.

Learn more about DBFA.

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