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The Publisher | A Letter from Jimmy Dean
Here’s an excerpt from a letter I received in March.
Dear Mr. Dean,
We have been reading HARBOR STYLE for about a year now, and I have nothing but positive things to say…My girlfriend and I (in our late 20s) moved here from Miami, and we are adjusting fine…I am curious if HARBOR STYLE has ever done an article on Charlotte County’s night life…We understand this county is largely a retirement community and a lot of things are directed for that market, however we believe there is a younger generation here starving for attention. Does the county have any goals to bring a younger demographic here?
-Amy and Jacob
Thanks, Amy and Jacob. Myself and our Editorial Director Liz Green, one of those “young people” herself, have had the conversation many times. She’s been living here in Charlotte County for 10 years now and is happy to report that the area has gotten much more youth-friendly over the years, but will also be the first to admit that there is still a long, long way to go.
If we, as a region, desire a future as bright as our present, we must engender a more welcoming place for younger residents. We must “amenitize” – offer amenities for them – like nightlife and necessities, such as affordable housing.
Look at it this way: When you go out to eat, or go to the doctor, you expect the highest quality service from a talented, well trained and friendly staff. If you don’t get it, you go elsewhere. Well, if we lack the necessities for a younger work force, they go elsewhere.
We are losing talent, brainpower and tremendous opportunities by not having the “amenities,” no, the necessities for a younger demographic. Face it; the numbers don’t lie. To continue to be the paradise we are we must have affordable housing for the young workforce. In order to have more affordable housing we must rethink our reactions whenever the subject of “affordable housing” appears before city and county leaders. We must think twice about creating a tsunami of protests the next time a real opportunity comes along for us to achieve that goal. Real estate developers know we need it. The demand is there.
Now back to Amy and Jacob. I promise you that we will get around to that story. In fact, we’ll make it a whole issue next year. Not on nightlife, per se, but an issue that focuses entirely on your generation: the 20- and 30-somethings. For now, we present the youngest of our young people, the youth of Charlotte County. The kids who will some day grow up to be the ones taking care of us and our community. The future decision makers. Our future is in their hands, and it is up to us to set them up for the brightest future possible.
Enjoy the issue.
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