“Imagine Tallahassee” – The Conversation Has Started
A few months ago I caught a buzz phrase going around in social media among some well respected friends and acquaintances. I delved a little deeper, watched the conversation and soon I was asked a few questions by the Imagine Tallahassee Facebook Admins. “What do you think of when you think of Tallahassee, and Is there a “brand” or “tagline” for Tallahassee that you would create that could accurately describe what our City could be or become?” Thought provoking questions for sure! As a lifelong, fourth generation resident, I can think of what my Tallahassee story is all about, about the stories of my family, the generations of change we have experienced and shared. As a Realtor, I think about all the ways I describe Tallahassee, FL when showcasing our City to returning and first time, potential residents relocating to Tallahassee. I also watched a few videos, other residents of Tallahassee, telling their stories, most of whom I know, certainly one of the things I love about Tallahassee – that sense of community and my professional relationships and the entrepreneurial spirit I see as a common thread in most residents. Tallahassee certainly is changing, becoming more and more attractive for those desiring innovation, for small business and for industries. Have we reached a “tipping point?”
The What, How, and Why
The Imagine Tallahassee website describes itself as this:
“Imagine Tallahassee is a grassroots initiative providing citizens an opportunity to brand their community. The brand will act as a powerful compass to guide economic developments strategies, capital investment decisions, and ensure Tallahassee’s success for generations to come”
Currently, 15% of the infrastructure sales tax is earmarked for economic development – the Blueprint 2000 tax. Imagine Tallahassee was privately funded by local business people, concerned citizens whom hired a consulting firm who has led similar branding efforts in other cities such as Austin, Texas and Biloxi, Mississippi. The Imagine Tallahassee data and recommendations will be presented to the Leon County Sales Tax Committee, City and County Commissions as a guide to the allocation of funds for economic development projects that the citizens will now inspire and help initiate. Through Imagine Tallahassee, citizens have direct input and potential influence up to $90 Million of Tallahassee’s economic development monies. That’s a BIG boost to our City, if we invest it wisely it could be even more!
What I loved most about the Imagine Tallahassee forum this afternoon at City Hall was not so much the questions being asked, most of us have common thoughts on what we love about the City, but more interesting were the wonderful composite of attendees, the introductions of my group of facilitators, their backgrounds, their reasons for involvement in the Imagine Tallahassee movement. I was among the “doers” of the Tallahassee community, and those representing others who could not be in attendance. I left optimistic, feeling great about the future, encouraged by the number of younger people, even students present who I know will be the future-makers of the Tallahassee community, the leaders who will help identify others who can help develop ideas, generate not just the ideas, but the knowledge to implement all the diverse elements that will meld a mold for smart, successful and quality growth for our City and even the surrounding areas. Young people are no longer moving away from Tallahassee, but more and more are returning because of that special draw that Tallahassee has on it’s residents. Join in the conversation – it’s not too late to express your ideas: http://imaginetallahassee.com/#connect
Tallahassee, FL it’s about home, home and all that we want our hometown to be to our families, for our friends, for our future. Be part, the conversations have begun. What are your thoughts? Why do you love Tallahassee?
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