CONSIDERING A COMMUNITY PROPOSAL

Second in a series of articles offering information about the city ballot issue for November 6

Place Attachment.  Defined, it is the feeling you have for the place in which you grew up.  It inspires feelings of warmth and belonging, and you know instantly that you are welcome.  You might say Place Attachment is the embodiment of the word Community.  It’s the difference between a house and a home.  Remarkably, studies show these affinities remain engrained in us.  And, they form deep emotional bonds between people and their surroundings – bonds that last a lifetime.

People depend on the places where they live, work, and play to satisfy nearly all of their needs, goals, and wants.  This dependence only strengthens an already-present attachment to home, and fosters a desire to contribute to a community’s future development.  The joy experienced with feelings of a hometown, coupled with dependence, gives a place meaning.  So, when a person experiences an indefinable sense of well-being, they naturally want to return time and again.  And, this desire to return stimulates a sense of responsibility for a town’s future.

There are many efforts underway in Columbus and Cherokee County to continue and nurture this sense of Place Attachment for our residents.  We are taking steps to ensure that skilled workforces are prepared to tackle upcoming projects.  We recently implemented a Neighborhood Revitalization Program to stimulate building and renovation, and, together, groups and individuals plan to create new residential projects to meet community needs.  We are working to find solutions for additional childcare options.  And, we understand it is our responsibility to continue the tradition of strong schools in Columbus through our support of the teachers, the administrators, the students, and the parents.

All of this leads to community development.  Community Development is both a noun and a verb.  As a noun, it means a group of people who initiate a social action process through planned intervention to improve seven Community Capitals.  Natural Capital includes things like clean air and water, good soil, wildlife, and parks.  Cultural Capital includes local beliefs, values, history, foods, and festivals.  Human Capital includes investments – both philanthropic and financial – that add to health, education, self-esteem, and overall physical well-being.  Social Capital also includes investments – again, both philanthropic and financial – that improve how people, groups, and community organizations positively collaborate.  Political Capital includes leadership opportunities, community engagement, and thoughtfully considered input.  Financial Capital includes grants, savings, investments, fair wages, and internal and external sources of income.  And, finally, Built Capital includes human-constructed infrastructure – things like water systems, roads, electronic communication, buildings, and housing.

As a verb, Community Development means the actions residents take toward the positive progression of a town or city.  Both noun and verb start with us.  We are encouraged by the steps already in place, but we must work together to ensure that Human, Social, and Financial Capitals are met, maintained, and promoted.  Please join us in creating opportunities and solutions that support the place we call Home.

 The Columbus City Council will host two information sessions about the November 6 ballot issue: Tuesday, October 23 at 7:00 pm at the Community Building; Sunday, October 28 at 3:00 pm at the CUHS Cafeteria.

Article submitted by the Columbus Recreation Commission.  Funding for this post provided by Citizens for a Healthy Columbus; Jennifer Thompson treasurer.