Editorial: Think Tank has chance to make a difference

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 30, 2002

Organizers of a new committee called the Think Tank have noticed a looming sense of dissatisfaction with Albert Lea among young people, and they hope that by bringing some of them together to talk, they can start a dialogue about what kind of things newcomers and youth would like to see here. It’s a good idea, but one that will only yield results if policy makers and private business pay attention to any recommendations it produces and are willing to follow the group’s lead in &uot;thinking outside the box.&uot;

Assembling a group like this is a well-intentioned and simple way to tap into the feelings of those who typically don’t immediately fit into a town like Albert Lea. But it has its limits. A group like this has the power only to brainstorm, but has less ability to make things happen. If positive change is to come out of the group’s discussions, the people who are already established &045; and who have the power to push for or create change &045; will need to value the ideas it produces.

Groups like First Impressions, Destination: Albert Lea, Greater Jobs, Inc. and the Chamber of Commerce have made strides toward changing Albert Lea for the better, and each has the hope that their efforts can better the community. It would be wise if these and other groups paid attention to what the Think Tank has to say and incorporated its message into theirs.

Email newsletter signup

Also important will be maintaining a high level

of participation in the committee and finding ways to attract new members and new ideas as time goes on. For any residents who don’t feel their voice is heard, and who have something to say, getting involved in this enterprise is a perfect way to get started.

If all these pieces fall into place, the Think Tank has a chance to make a difference for Albert Lea.