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Dear readers: Welcome to Common Ground, a blog dedicated to highlighting ways in which people in North Central Washington are coming together to make their communities better. This is not intended to be a solo endeavor. I'm looking for your contributions in the form of examples and stories. I'm here to learn from you about ways in which people in the region are coming together to move our communities forward. I'll do what I can to facilitate the conversation. Now, I have been accused of being an eternal optimist, to which I plead guilty as charged. I choose to have great faith in our ability as citizens to find solutions to the challenges we face in our communities. Unfortunately, the mindset that prevails in our society is often dominated by finding someone to blame. Just look at the state of our political system. I'm weary of the divisiveness and acrimony - call it the Blameocracy. The challenges ahead of us are huge and we need to spend time figuring out solutions that work for all of us. I'm inspired by examples where people with different viewpoints have figured out how to come together, find common ground, and craft local solutions. There are many examples of collaborative solutions that are changing the course of NCW. The Leavenworth Is For Everyone (2) committee in the Bavarian village is working to balance business interests with social, environmental and cultural opportunities. The Community Roundtable in Chelan is doing much the same thing. By looking at issues in a more integrated fashion, we'll make better decisions rather than treating these subjects in isolation. If you've got examples of collaborative endeavors in the region, please email me with the details. I'd like to make this a community effort. I'm just here to facilitate the conversation. One of my favorite quotes comes from Teddy Roosevelt.

"Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are."

To me, that epitomizes the spirit of self sufficiency that we should strive for. To contribute ideas you think should be shared with readers, email me at: rwoods@wenatcheeworld.com

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