Sometimes we make the news for things we do: articles we've written, projects we're working on. And sometimes we make the news because journalists want our perspective about problems or opportunities in their city. Here's a sampling of both kinds of news about Civic Strategies.
Publisher Peter Harkness looks back on Otis White's work for Governing magazine in this column, titled "Farewell to Otis White," from the February 2007 issue. Otis is president of Civic Strategies.
Another appreciation of Otis' urban analysis is offered in this column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Otis is quoted in three recent books. One is The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life by Fred Siegel, published in 2005. Another is The Sushi Economy: Globalization and the Making of a Modern Delicacy by Sasha Issenberg, published in 2007. The final one is Feingold: A New Democratic Party. In the Giuliani biography, Otis is quoted about how slow New York was in the past to adopt new technologies and ways of doing business. In the Sushi book, he's quoted about Towson, Maryland's sushi district (where sushi restaurants are clustered in walking distance), which he compares with other, more traditional urban business districts. In the Feingold biography, author Sanford D. Horwitt quotes Otis' New York Times op-ed article about the decline of bankers as civic leaders. (Feingold opposed federal laws making it easier to build national banking companies.)
The online magazine Salon interviewed Otis about the rankings of cities that are sometimes published in newspapers, and whether they truly tell us anything about how cities are doing.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looked back, a year later, at the impact that a citizen engagement and strategic planning project managed by Civic Strategies had on Gwinnett County, a large county just outside of Atlanta.
Veteran reporter Maria Saporta, editor of Atlanta's Saporta Report web site, interviewed Otis about an effort to bridge the political differences between the Atlanta metro area and the rest of Georgia.
Birmingham, Alabama was in the midst of an important election for mayor when a Bimingham News reporter interviewed Otis about the type of mayor the city might need at this point in its history.
Earlier, Birmingham News columnist John Archibald interviewed Otis and quoted from a Civic Strategies report on how visionary mayors succeed in office. He compared the successful mayors in the report with the current candidates for mayor.
The Orlando Sentinel interviewed Otis about efforts to attract higher quality development to the Kissimmee area of Central Florida.
An article in the Sacramento Bee quoted Otis about the growth of city incorporations around the country.
The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle quoted Otis about the transition of a new mayor.
Otis offers some advice to Lansing, Michigan leaders in an op-ed article for the Lansing State Journal.
In this article in the Boston Globe, Otis is quoted about the redevelopment of a former Air Force base in Denver.
In this article for theTampa Tribune, Otis described how Chattanooga, Tennessee created a vibrant downtown by involving citizens in a community visioning project.
The Christian Science Monitor quoted Otis in an article about Boston's loss of corporate headquarters and its effect on local leadership.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia talked to Otis about the importance of a regional approach to economic development.
Otis appeared on National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation show on what makes a great mayor. NPR asked Otis to join the show along with Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (now governor of Colorado), former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, and former Dallas Mayor Steve Bartlett.
"One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. Which road do I take? she asked. Where do you want to go? was his response. I don't know, Alice answered. Then, said the cat, it doesn't matter."
Alice in Wonderland
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
Gen. George S. Patton
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