We have seen real progress in economic development over the past few years. From a county that struggled to attract investment, we have become the site of some of the region’s most exciting new projects and have regained much of the business community’s trust.
Economic development is critical for Prince George’s County, as we currently rely far more than other jurisdictions on our residential tax base to fund county operations. More businesses and commercial projects will mean that we can shift the burden away from residents while increasing funding for critical county services like education and public safety. It is time we stopped balancing our budget on the backs of those we are supposed to be serving. Development also brings jobs, which means more opportunities for our citizens, too many of whom currently leave the county to work.
Large scale development projects like those we have seen recently are a welcome change. But I believe we need to see more of an emphasis going forward on development at the neighborhood level. This means more projects that reflect the needs of our communities, as well as pursuing opportunities for citizens to participate directly in the growth we experience through workforce training and job development.
Over the next several months, I’ll be talking more about how we can ensure that everyone has an opportunity to share in the County’s potential by supporting our local, small and minority-owned businesses and by making sure that workforce training opportunities are more widely available.