I recently had a lunch meeting with a friend who is very involved with local politics and very concerned with national politics. Part of our discussion revolved around the competing visions of how this country should operate. Aside from the major ongoing political conflict between and within political parties, we also have group conflict with all sorts of groups that have strong messages and feelings about what ought to be done or not done.

As I pondered the role of The Vail Voice as a community paper and what I ought to write about, I am reminded that we are a community paper – of Vail, Corona, and southeast Tucson. In this sense, while the debate regarding the nature of our national community of our country is very important, the reality is “all politics are local,” as often said by former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill. A sense of community is very much local as well.

Our front page article is about the formation of Southeast Regional Council (SERC) and underscores this reality and importance of the local community.  The council is a nonpartisan,  grassroots organization consisting of community members will focus on the pressing local issues found within our region. On page 16 Anne Gibson tells the story of how a group of individuals (Vail Vison) and organizations came together to develop a vision of Vail. The two-year project, completed in 2012, has chosen the motto of “Vail, AZ – Preserving Our History, Nature, and Community.” The SE Regional Council stands on the shoulders of those who took the time to complete this important work.

Being part of a community is feeling that your concerns and issues are being heard and addressed. We may not be able to have much effect on issues in other states, but through groups like Vail Vision, and the newly forming SERC, we can have an impact, locally.

As a closing note, please read about the Regional Transportation Authority request for your input on (page 10) to help them understand the transportation needs in our local area.

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