Working in the field of community development often feels like riding a roller coaster. There are highs and lows, funding shortages and funding spikes, with twists and turns of political pressure, regulations, audits, and staffing challenges, not to mention a pandemic. Those of you who have been in the business awhile know what I mean and those of you who are new can immediately see these challenges. It seems simple enough – use federal funds to help people in need and make communities better places to live.
Some of the most inspiring professionals in this field are those that are able to cut to the chase, cut through the bureaucracy, and move forward with a clear vision to simply help people and make things better – better roads, better housing, better jobs.
My hope over the next year is that we can encourage each other to clearly see our simple mission to make communities better for everyone. I encourage you to bring your unique experiences and skills to this organization, to help your peers with new ideas and innovative ways to address poverty, racial injustices, prejudices, and neglect.
NCDA is well positioned to be an industry leader in this effort. People are hurting and communities are in need. Do we have a long way to go? Most certainly. Are we anywhere near where we need to be? Definitely not. There is a particular urgency to our work at this time. Let’s continue to raise the bar for ourselves and our neighbors to truly listen to each other, improve our understanding, take action, and make real progress.
I look forward to working with each of you over the next year and continuing to learn from the talented community development professionals that are the backbone of NCDA.