The unheard speech I wrote & choked @ GetHYPEd event on 7/7 :-) Doug @ Hartford Mag needs quotes…
Statistics tell us that CT has the highest number of 25-34 year olds leaving it’s state than any other state in the entire country. This bothers me. And I hope it bothers you too. So I want to ask you, those of that chose to stay here or return here or come here:
Why plant your feet here, in Hartford?
Because if you planted your feet because you wanted to make this place better like I did, I want to throw out 3 simple challenges to you tonight. Just 3 things and then we can all go back to our friends and festivities.
1. Take a look around you at the people you stand here with tonight. Friends. Coworkers. Colleagues.
Most of us treat our organization as handful of friends that we go to happy hour with a couple times a month. But this organization is much more than that. This organization is a fraternity of young professionals 2650 members strong. Think about that. 2650 is a number so significant that most cities 4x Hartford’s size would kill to have a young professionals organization a mere 1/10 the members we have here today. So I implore you:
Do not forsake the opportunity you have here in front of you.
Be a part of something greater than yourself, greater than a paycheck.
Get involved. Join a committee. Bring a friend to the next HYPE event. Bring 2 more the next time. Help us build an organization 10,000 members strong. Help us create a voice so clear, a community so inviting that we redefine what it means to be young, smart, and professional in Hartford.
2. Take a look outside. Consider for a moment the world renowned legacy that our city holds right beneath our feet:
- The first public art museum in US history.
- The first public park in US history.
- The first federally-funded school for the deaf in US history.
- Epicenter to both bicycle & automobile industries before Detroit was even on the map.
- The once wealthiest city in the US.
- Home to most famous writer in US history.
- And final home to a little lady who started a great war, by giving a voice to the unheard, and forever altering the course of our entire country.
So, my final challenge to you is very simple.
What are we waiting for?
What greater ancestry do we need to take back the glory that our city once held?
How longer must we wait?
How many more mayors must we lose?
How many more of our generation’s most highly-educated must leave?
Poorest must die?
Most historic be forgotten?
Before we decide to take back the great legacy that our city, our workplaces, our home, our community still represents here today? What greater opportunity do we need than a small city where everyone has a chance for a voice and a mission?
So I challenge you: when you think about Hartford, when you think about HYPE. Stand in solidarity with everyone who has planted their roots here in this city. Some of the greatest figures and achievements in our country’s entire history.
- Do not stop reminding people why you are here in this city and no other.
- Do not shy away from the opportunities you have here.
- Do not forget the great figures that once walked these very same streets.
Because this city, Hartford CT, has a legacy far greater than any of the things we see and experience today. And if the time is not now to take that legacy back, then when?