Make America Great Again??

Last week, we took a quick jaunt to Paris. The weather was fabulous, the traffic was not what it used to be (thank you France), the biking lanes were game-changing, the Metro worked, the airport check-in was efficient, people experiencing homelessness were minimal, there were no empty storefronts, the cafes were packed, and the city is diverse.

It feels like a city moving into a new world where they care about the climate, people, neighborhoods, transportation, and housing.

We return to JFK; as always, it is a gut punch. There had to be over 350 people standing in line trying to get through customs. People were freaking out and angry, and these were Americans not foreigners. Are these the same people who want to pay less taxes? Who do they think pays for this?

The divide between the rich and poor gets larger every day. The gap is destructive. The decisions to spend the money it takes to upgrade our systems, change our antiquated transportation systems, educate our children, feed ourselves healthy food (please pass some laws here), build more housing, and ensure healthcare for all take capital that comes from public taxation, some from private, but most of this is public.

Americans have a conceived notion that we are the greatest, the best, the top. When I walked into JFK and saw the mess, all I could think of was how we made America great again. What can we do? What should we do?

I went to the first Collective Future event in NYC the day after I returned. The event was a series of panels, although one or two people led the panels to stimulate conversation around a table as if you were at a dinner party. These conversations were about the future of our city, AI, housing, arts, and everything that touches our society. There was a tech slant to all of this, primarily forward thinkers, and I hope these conversations change how we all think about the future of NYC and how to make America great again.

Something needs to change.