By: Dan Hartlage

Principal of Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations

We cannot turn our backs on downtown. We simply can't. I live downtown, work downtown, go to sleep each evening and wake up each morning downtown. It's my neighborhood.

And it's safe. And it needs you. It needs all of us. First, the pandemic, then the unrest from protests pushing for social justice -- downtown is hurting.

Almost every day, someone tells me downtown is not safe. The people who say downtown isn't safe are people who haven't been downtown lately.

If you haven't been downtown lately, I hope you came back soon. Businesses that have been boarded up for months are taking down the plywood and trying to move forward. They need our help.

Come down for a drink or a meal. For that matter, drop by Jefferson Square. Talk to someone there. And form your own opinion on what you see and hear. The push for social justice isn't only happening on our TVs and devices. Much of it is happening downtown.

Downtown is NOT what it was a year ago. But that's OK. It CAN come back, but it needs you. And We ALL need a healthy downtown.

Because, as the saying goes: You can't be a suburb of nothing!

I'm Dan Hartlage, and that's my Point of View.

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