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Welcome to Our Inaugural Issue

by Mark Peres

November 2,2003

Many believe that Charlotte is run by an exclusive club of bankers, corporate titans, politicians and entrepreneurs who call the shots about the city’s future. The club runs in tight circles. Members see each other in government meetings, business offices, social events and golf courses. They are nurtured by associations and leadership groups that forge ties. And they are not about to share the ball.

The truth is that Charlotte is remarkably open to anyone with the energy and passion to step forward – which may be the city’s greatest attribute. We’re blessed to have our core leaders and we’re better for them. Some of these activists are extraordinary – moving the civic agenda forward toward a progressive, vibrant city – one that the majority is proud to call home.

Yet there is plenty of room for those on the outside looking in to join in on the mix. That’s where we come in.

We are an independent opinion magazine that seeks to enter the debate of what is best for the city and region. We are not beholden to any group, organization or power elite. We are a spontaneous, democratic initiative with a point of view.

We support a vision of a city that is diverse, pedestrian friendly and compelling. We support density, mass transit, regional planning, and a thriving, mixed-use urban core.

Our aim is to celebrate the city, to encourage sustainable development and to profile the citizens that are working actively to make Charlotte a better place.

Is Charlotte world-class? No. Hardly. Paris, London, Rome, New York, Hong Kong, San Francisco and Chicago are world-class. Charlotte may be a hundred years away from being a distant second. But Charlotte has a good shot of being the most livable city in America in our lifetime. We aim to help Charlotte live its best life.

We will have regular and guest columnists. We will have photographs and an occasional editorial cartoon. We will publish electronically and hope our audience grows. Our format and content will evolve. Our writing will improve. Occasionally, we will digress and stray.

We invite you to forward our magazine on to friends and to send in your ideas and comments. We hope for dialog and community.

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