The development of our downtown district is a team endeavor.
In efforts to successfully revitalize and rejuvenate the City of Sarasota, we need to focus on identifying community partners who not only wish to enhance their own mission, but seek to enhance our shared community vision – to build a sustainable environment that creates a better quality of life for our residents.
A joint approach is more crucial than ever. As the economy continues to teeter on recovery, and public agencies and nonprofits continue to struggle for support and resources, working alongside responsible community partners is in everybody’s best interest. Good corporate citizens that couple with good business also bring new jobs and economic prosperity. It’s a win-win.
And that is why the approval of a new Walmart in the Ringling Shopping Center would be a valuable addition to our downtown district. They are leaders in corporate citizenship. They are trailblazers in corporate partnership. And they have demonstrated, when many have not, that their commitment to our community is unwavering, in spite of economic woes and corporate cutbacks, because it’s the right thing to do.
The NAACP works tirelessly across our community every day to protect our civil rights and ensure that all citizens have equal opportunity. I spend many hours with leaders of our community exploring opportunities for the betterment of our region, for our residents. In all my years working with Walmart, they have always stepped up to the plate, they are always willing to listen and often help, with little fanfare and very little thanks from the community in which it resides.
While politics and procedure often overshadow good intentions, it’s important that we not lose sight of the fact that bringing Walmart into the heart of downtown would bring not only economic opportunity but community partnership. Together, we can collectively redevelop and reinvigorate the City of Sarasota, as partners.
Trevor D. Harvey, Sarasota President of the NAACPArea XI Director of the Florida State Conference-NAACP