Monday, November 28, 2016

Raleigh editorial calls for urban-rural partnership to overcome political divide in North Carolina

The growing rural-urban divide hurts everyone in North Carolina, says an editorial by the Raleigh News & Observer. "The rural counties won’t really benefit, and will continue to shrink. The urban areas, if penalized for their prosperity, will lose jobs and begin a downturn of their own." Mayor Esther Manheimer of liberal Asheville told the N&O, “To me the job of an urban area is to provide a platform for a robust economy that serves the whole state. So we need to help explain that a win for rural is a win for urban and a win for urban is a win for rural.”

The editorial says, "Big companies that do international and national business need modern transportation and easy access to airports. That’s going to draw them to cities. But many of those businesses have service centers—call centers, for example—that don’t necessarily have to be in a city. Those should be opportunities for smaller communities."

"The state’s recruiters, in other words, need to think beyond the concept of getting a business to come to Charlotte or Raleigh, provide X number of jobs, and everyone lives happily ever after," states the editorial. "The state can seek those smaller businesses that might better fit smaller towns and counties. Those smaller towns can partner with larger ones, working together."

Despite tensions among lawmakers from rural and urban areas, they need to work together to keep the state moving forward, states the editorial. "There need be no urban-rural divide. There needs to be an urban-rural partnership, with all moving forward together."

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