Every day, the national media is full of stories about how American families, businesses, and neighbors are adjusting to these trying times. There are so many changes happening so fast that it's dizzying: national debates about unemployment, foreclosures, debt, religion, government and private enterprise all touch on fundamental ways in which we see ourselves and our communities. At Patch, we want to explore that conversation on a daily basis so we can better understand how our neighbors are adjusting to the challenges and opportunities that surround us (see photo gallery to learn about how I see Branford’s American Dream since taking the job as your Patch editor last December).
We don't think there's one American Dream, but a multitude of American Dreams which a multitude of people are working toward. Looking out across nearly almost 900 Patch sites, we see businesses holding their breath deciding whether to expand; college graduates returning home because they can't find jobs; and senior citizens bringing boarders into their homes to help pay their bills. We also see bold new volunteer efforts, inspiring stories of local businesses that succeed because they innovated, and residents who've taken these trying times as a signal to engage more, not less, in their government.
At the purely local level, we want to know where we, as Branford neighbors, fit along these fault lines.
Nationally, there's a debate about which government-building efforts are "shovel-ready." Locally, there’s debate about economic growth and which First Selectman candidate will see that through, incumbent candidate or Republican first-timer ?
Nationally, there's a debate about the education system, which is at the center of our dreams of a better life for our children. Locally, the has set out full force to work to ready children for school from birth. in Branford have shown that something must be done. And the most important person to turn that situation around is not a national politician, but our own teachers and our second-year .
"Dispatches" will be built upon the compelling vignettes and snapshots we unearth across all of our Patch sites.
And, of course, we want your help: Tell us what issues and what stories in Branford go to the heart of your American Dream. Leave a comment here or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.