A few months back I heard the phrase, “How to get to YES”, and it has stuck in my mind since. In a world of NO now, how refreshing would it be to turn that NO into a YES? Yes, can be like a large glass of water on a raging hot day. If yes can make a difference for just one person, is it worth it? Yes takes determination, patience, effort, and persistence, but even so, I would like to propose that YES is attainable - both for our city and our personal lives.
Steps to Yes:
- Desire to change
- Allow the desire to simmer and sprout
- Map out a plan
- Go for it
10 ways Longview has been able to get to YES despite Covid-19 struggles:
- Yes! Longview Downtown businesses were able to expand their businesses during summer and fall months through free outdoor seating permits. Thanks to Community Development Director John Brickey, Cowlitz Economic Development Council’s Lindsey Cope and City Manager Kurt Sacha for making this happen.
- Yes! Longview’s Revolving Loan Fund expanded opportunities for entrepreneurs to attain small business loans with no fees, low interest, and up to $100k borrowing capacity.
- Yes! Millions of dollars flowed into our community through Cares Act funding to lift and benefit families and businesses in need.
- Yes! Over $500k in Community Development Block Grants and HOME grants were distributed to social service agency applicants within the city and city utility rate reductions were granted for over 300 senior citizens. Thank you, Longview City Council, for approving these applications.
- Yes! Ribbon cutting ceremonies celebrating the newly constructed and federally granted RiverCities Transit on 12th Avenue, including six new biodiesel buses that offered no-fee rides during the Covid-19 summer; and the long-awaited Legends Firing Range on California Way, a 50-yard indoor full facility firing range offering firearms training for our police officers and a recreational facility for the public. Many thanks to our state and federal legislators, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Jim Walsh, Brian Blake and Dean Takko for assistance with funding and helping our community get to Yes!
- Yes! The 94-year-old original city master clock housed in the Country Folks Deli in downtown Longview has been restored and now hangs in its new home in the Longview Public Library. Special thanks to the amazing efforts of former Longview Mayor Mark McCrady, Community Development Director John Brickey and retired downtown business owner John Chilson.
- Yes! The recent Grand Re-opening of the Salvation Army-Longview Temple Corps Hope House Motel, under the leadership of Major Kit Wetter, brings HOPE and another YES to citizens struggling with addiction recovery within our community. This clean and sober housing model will bless the lives of many individuals seeking wellness and recovery.
- Yes! Whereas many of our traditional fun-runs, golf tournaments and recreational activities have been postponed or canceled due to consequences of Covid-19, Longview celebrates a brand new playground structure at Victoria Freeman Park located at Douglas/9th Avenue and nearly completed Harlie’s Hoops Basketball Court at Lake Sacajawea Park at Kessler/20th Avenue.
- Yes! Santa Claus is coming to town! The Longview Christmas Parade under the leadership of Cowlitz PUD Public Relations and Communications Manager Alice Dietz, will be Covid-19 friendly, as parade floats will be stationary and spectators will be the parade! Parade route will begin at 14th Avenue near Bank of America.
- YES! is attainable during the Covid-19 Pandemic. What are your YES successes?
Whatever your Yes may be, be safe, stay healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis