There are those among us in the High Desert (some call it the Mojave River Valley) who hold the opinion that our region has lost its heart. I do not believe that this is the case. While there are undoubtedly many folks who are frustrated with the myriad problems we face, including high crime, limited employment opportunities, traffic congestion along the Interstate-15 corridor and homelessness (to name just a few), they remain optimistic that solutions may be found to these and other challenges.
With this in mind, I, along with some of my colleagues in the business community, have commissioned noted regional economist Dr. John Husing and his colleague, Dr. Barbara Sirotnik of California State University, San Bernardino, to conduct a Survey and Solutions Report intended to identify the five to 10 major community issues that impact our region. On July 8th, this initiative was kicked off with the largest press conference that has been held here since the closure of George Air Force Base. During this event it became clear that the local and regional press and other participants are committed to this effort to constructively tackle the issues that are affecting our region.
The survey is scheduled to start on Thursday. In order for this effort to be successful, support from the following entities will be essential:
All Chambers of Commerce, Fraternal organizations and community-based organizations in the Town of Apple Valley and the cities of Adelanto, Barstow, Hesperia and Victorville. We also need help from our friends in the Tri-Community (Phelan, Pinon Hills, Wrightwood) as well as El Mirage, Helendale, Silver Lakes, Hinkley, Daggett, Yermo, Newberry Springs, Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley.
All elected and appointed leaders in the above referenced communities including those that serve on special districts, municipal advisory commissions, community service districts (CSD’s).
School District officials, who can encourage students and their parents to participate.
County and State government officials, including First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood, Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Assemblyman Jay Obernolte and State Senator Scott Wilk; and individual citizens like you.
I am urging all of the people and organizations listed above to share any and all information they have and, more importantly, to do all they can to let people know about this survey. This is a time to set individual agendas and egos aside to work toward the common goal of solving our region’s many challenges. In many cases the solutions to the problems we face may not be governmental but will require the active involvement of the citizens themselves.
Our region has dramatically changed over the 31 years and 3 months that I have resided here. While it retains some of the attributes that attracted many of us to locate here, there are significant and growing social and economic problems that simply need to be addressed in order for the region and its communities to remain viable in the years ahead.
Those of us who love the High Desert cannot sit idly by while our region continues to deteriorate. Your active participation in the process of preparing the Survey and Solutions Report can be an important first step toward addressing the problems we face. I hope that you will join me in this essential endeavor.
Let’s spread the word: www.HighDesertSurvey.com from Aug. 1 through Aug. 31.
I would like to thank all of you who have contacted me by my personal email to voice your support for this. My personal email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put in the subject line: High Desert Survey, to ensure I open the email immediately.
Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR, is president of The Bradco Companies and vice president of the Victor Valley College Board of Trustees.