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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pope to LAIC: Madville Times Is Right! Open the Process!

One of my biggest beefs with our local economic development organization, the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, is its resistance to community participation. I've previously cited academic research that shows the benefits of the very participation, openness, and transparency to which the LAIC is so resistant (unless you can buy your way into the planning meetings with a big Forward Madison donation).

So far, the LAIC shows no signs of changing. Well, if Dwaine Chapel and his board won't listen to academic research, how about the Pope?

No, seriously. I noted earlier that Pope Benedict XVI just called for labor unions, environmentalism, and other socialist checks on the unrestrained capitalist greed that hobbled the economy. In Section 47 of Caritas in Veritate, His Holiness also declares the moral imperative for citizen participation in development programs:

Development programmes, if they are to be adapted to individual situations, need to be flexible; and the people who benefit from them ought to be directly involved in their planning and implementation.

Now the Pope has international development organizations in mind, but I see nothing in the Pope's words that say his call for citizen participation in economic development programs cannot apply equally at the domestic, local level. Economic development anywhere, even in Madison, requires the participation of the people who benefit—i.e., all citizens, even the annoying and questioning ones like me.

The Pope said it; it must be right! Some days I wish I were Catholic.

Now, I wonder what Bishop Zelmer thinks....


  1. I will baptise you next time I am up your way ;)

  2. Better bring the extra-strength holy water: I'm a hard case!

  3. Over my dead body, Joe! He's already been baptized!


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