I got to know the term interlocking directorates in law school, I think, along with its connotations of trust busting, big business, robber barons, and consolidating power. Now I’m actually interlocking a couple of directorates myself, but it’s not quite so dramatic in my case. I am now a member of both the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation and Strong Towns boards; this combination (not used in its Sherman Act sense) comes with no fame nor fortune, but just some very happy confluences of interest and priorities.
The NDDC is a non-profit, non-partisan organization committed to sustaining and improving the downtown in Northfield, MN. Strong Towns is a non-profit, non-partisan organization trying to help America’s towns develop financial resiliency through educating the public about the costs inherent in our patterns of growth and advocating for more productive development patterns. Northfield’s downtown already exemplifies some qualities of a Strong Town. Strong Towns can help develop analytic and practical tools to help Northfield and other towns evaluate development, plans, and budgets.
My new direction should surprise no one reading this blog; I’ve been trying to identify costs of development beyond the “jobs and tax base” mythology (like this post from December) in Northfield and in the news. Glad to be able to put my passions and skills to work for both these organizations.