He gets it | AspenTimes.com

He gets it

Dear Editor:

Mick gets it. He understands it. Aspen is a community and not a commodity. A commodity is inert. It is short-term for traders. It has no vitality. People do not live in a commodity ” they live in a community.

A community is organic ” sustainable for the long-term with committed experienced leadership, citizen involvement, thoughtful understanding and vision about the town’s values and strengths. A sustainable community is affordable and inclusive, living within its means, putting quality over quantity and inevitably changing.

Affordable Aspen is telling the positive story that Aspen is indeed affordable, welcoming and inclusive. Under a strong leader like Mick Ireland, Aspen will retain these values in the future. It is about the incredible options of free or nominal-cost activities and programs, ranging from concerts on the lawn at Benedict Tent, free nordic skiing, access to Aspen Institute Ideas Festival lectures, the free Aspen Art Museum, The Aspen Center for Physics, ACES, the ARC, the free Aspen city-wide bus system, an affordable housing program, accessible gold medal fishing streams and an enormous trail system, among others. This is part of our core recreational infrastructure that residents and visitors all enjoy. It is for everyone. This is a message that needs to be heard in equal strength to the image of Aspen as only the home of the “rich and famous.” Mick gets it.

Some say that we have to protect our brand. But its not about brand protection. It’s about walking the talk ” that we are an inclusive, welcoming and accessible community sharing these values. Visitors and residents will always choose a vibrant community over a label.

Aspen has a long history of economic diversity among its residents and visitors. This is key to what makes our town sustainable during the inevitable business cycles. A community is at risk if it becomes too insular, focusing on too narrow an economic base.

Affordable Aspen broadens the base as a community ” not as a commodity.

This May 5 vote is about pulling together, about creating opportunity when times are tough, about positivism. Mick gets it. Vote Mick Ireland for mayor.

Howie Mallory