Save the date for a celebration of progress

Published 7:01 am Sunday, April 2, 2017

It’s incredible that five years have already passed since our community launched the Vision 2020 movement.  What began as a simple idea to make Austin a better place to live, work, and play has grown into a vibrant network with hundreds of individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the place we call home.  And with over $24 million in grants, donations, and in-kind support received for our volunteer-driven projects and programs so far, it’s hard to argue with the results.

A 5-year anniversary is significant no matter what it’s for, and we felt it was high time for a party to celebrate all of the progress that Austin has made since 2012.

We want to recognize the efforts of our past and present volunteers, honor the support of our sponsors, and invite everyone to appreciate how far we’ve come and where we’re headed for the rest of the decade.

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We couldn’t think of a better venue at which to host this event than the Spam Museum, which is symbolic in so many ways of how Austin is on the rise.  After a fire devastated that area of downtown, our community came together to create what is widely recognized as one of the best tourist attractions in the state.

The Vision 2020 Destination Downtown committee lobbied hard for the Museum to relocate to its new spot, which has brought nearly 125,000 visitors to the area since last April.

The increased spending at local shops and restaurants these visitors have provided is an important piece of our community development puzzle, but there are countless other stories to tell about how we are setting Austin up for long-term success.

When you think about things like the Wescott Dome, an expanded trail system, or enhanced educational opportunities, we are, through these projects, improving everyone’s quality of life, increasing the sense of community pride, and continuing to grow the list of reasons why people want to live and stay here.

All of that means employers can attract and retain more employees, the local tax base can grow to support essential government services, and businesses can have a stronger customer base to purchase their goods and services.  There is no silver bullet or magic wand that can make these things happen overnight, but the amount of time, effort, and resources Vision 2020 has been able to leverage is making an unmistakable impact.

So, we invite you to mark your calendars for May 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Spam Museum to meet your neighbors and learn more about our volunteers’ work. People of all ages are welcome to enjoy a fun evening with music, refreshments, and much more as we celebrate the past, present, and future of our great community.