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Archive: William Stafford

Wanted: A Big U.S. Boost for Exports

William Stafford / Aug 23 2013

For Release Friday, August 23, 2013
Citiwire.net

William StaffordSpeaking last month at Knox College Galesburg, Ill., President Obama began to try to refocus the American public on the economy. His attention to the need for competition in a global economy was welcome. Global trade is more than a national issue; it’s vital, as well, for healthy metro regions to be prepared to compete internationally.

The slow rebound from the recession and the even slower return to low unemployment levels continue to plague the country. Obama attributed the loss of jobs to new technology and, he said, “Global competition sent jobs overseas.” He outlined what’s needed to compete and said, “The countries that are passive in the face of the global economy will lose the competition for good jobs and high living standards.”

But central to the national debate on fixing the economy is the role of government. Where does the country set the rheostat between a totally free market economy and an activist role for the government in ensuring economic success? And this question is even more difficult as we face global competition for jobs with countries like China, which have industrial policies.

The Obama administration realizes that a large trade deficit and the flow of jobs overseas require an assertive policy. But is the public in agreement?

For years the American public has not seen global trade as in our interest – although polls show an uptick this year. (See Pew Research Center poll in 2010 here, and see a Gallup poll from February 2013 here.) One example: Since mid-2007, Presidents George W. Bush and Obama have had no fast- track trade authority, letting them negotiate international agreements needing only an up or down vote in Congress.
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Seattle’s Korean Community: Immigration Can Make Us All Stronger

William Stafford / Nov 30 2012

For Release Friday, November 30, 2012
Citiwire.net

William StaffordThe national debate on immigration and policy decisions to be made will have effects ranging from Microsoft’s ability to recruit talent to apple farmers’ ability to harvest their fruit; from uniting families to international students’ options for seeking a U.S. education.

The Puget Sound region and Washington State depend on international business and the relationships that support our success. Our diverse communities not only provide the cultural and language skills to interact with the world, but add to the richness here in our community.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported Nov. 5 that King County’s multiracial growth was second in the United States over the past 12 months, exceeded only by Los Angeles. Bellevue is more than 30 percent foreign-born, and Seattle 25 percent. Whether you are a newspaper, theater company, medical provider or retailer, to be successful you must understand the Puget Sound’s changing demographics. ACT Theatre’s development of Ramayana represents their understanding that more than 60,000 people of Indian heritage live in this area.
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Smart Regions Will Listen To Approaching Hoof Beats

William Stafford / Nov 12 2011

For Release Saturday, November 12, 2011
Citiwire.net

William StaffordRockefeller’s estate in Sleepy Hollow, New York was the perfect place to have a three-day discussion, a few days before Halloween, on the current situation in America’s metropolitan areas. Congress is bewitched, the public is spooked, and public budgets are being beheaded. Eek!

The opportunity to stay in Kykuit, Rockefeller’s mansion and now an historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was a great personal experience and reminded me that wealth was widely distributed throughout American history. The estate was once 3,000 acres but is now only 300 acres, the remainder a state park or still in the family.

Across a majestic view of the Hudson River and its valley is a unique geologic feature, the Palisades, a nearly 20-mile line of steep cliffs along the west side of the river. To prevent development on the top of the Palisades, the family purchased 18 miles of the bluff and gave it to the state for a linear state park. Read More »

Where’d You Get That Nice Toga, Senator?

William Stafford / Jun 02 2011

For Release Thursday, June 2, 2011
Citiwire.net

William StaffordThe year was 450 A.D. Rome was besieged by imports. The people were unemployed as low-cost goods from the Germanic tribes and the Mongolian hordes flooded the empire.

Emperor Romulus Augustus Obamatus summoned Praetor Lockatus. “You are responsible for Rome’s competitiveness; why cannot we employ our citizens? Why are our chariots made in Nara, our sandals in Gongju, and our togas in Pingcheng? The Germanic tribes sell us our tools. Even our wine is from the Franks in Gaul. Our papyrus is from Egypt and our tin is from Britannia while our olive oil is from Iberia. There is rumbling in the markets. I fear for the future of Rome. What is your advice?”

The meeting led to the proclamation of a Roman Export Initiative (REI). The Roman government would assist the small and mid-size shop keepers to sell their products from Egypt to Hibernia. The Roman government would also assist major business. A State of the Empire Speech was presented to the Senate, outlining the threat and how Rome must now invest in education, research, and infrastructure, including repair of the aqueducts and roads that tie the empire together. Obamatus said that the Empire had become complacent since the Punic Wars and did not see the rise of economic competitors.
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Citizens’ Emergency Training: Fukuoka’s Global Model

William Stafford / Mar 17 2011

For Release Thursday, March 17, 2011
Citiwire.net

William StaffordDo you know the best survival strategies when an earthquake hits? Would you know how to prepare for a tornado, lean into hurricane-force winds, escape from a smoke-filled room? If fire hit your home, would you know how to use that fire extinguisher you bought years ago?

The earthquake in Haiti, followed in close order by major seismic eruptions in Chile, Okinawa and Taiwan, should be a wake up call for a re-examination of readiness across the globe. We Americans should learn to be a little less obsessed with terrorism, much more about preparedness. The reality is that an earthquake or monster storm or wildfire epidemic could spell disaster for many more of us.
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Citizens’ Emergency Training: Fukuoka’s Global Model

William Stafford / Mar 07 2010

For Release Sunday March 07, 2010
Citiwire.net

William Stafford Do you know the best survival strategies when an earthquake hits? Would you know how to prepare for a tornado, lean into hurricane-force winds, escape from a smoke-filled room? If fire hit your home, would you know how to use that fire extinguisher you bought years ago?

The earthquake in Haiti, followed in close order by major seismic eruptions in Chile, Okinawa and Taiwan, should be a wake up call for a re-examination of readiness across the globe. We Americans should learn to be a little less obsessed with terrorism, much more about preparedness. The reality is that an earthquake or monster storm or wildfire epidemic could spell disaster for many more of us.

There’s a lot cities can do about this. And I got my first clue sitting on a plane to Fukuoka, Japan, as part of my work organizing the annual international city study missions of the Trade Alliance and Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. The city, I discovered in my reading
materials, listed a disaster training center as a tourist attraction.

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A Tale of Ten Cities: It’s the Regional Economy!

William Stafford / Dec 18 2009

For Release Friday, December 18, 2009
Citiwire.net

William Stafford Once upon a time in a lost world, urban regions worried about their neighbors and occasionally other cities around the nation. In today’s interconnected web of a global economy, where talent, capital and ideas are on the move like professional soccer players, an urban region like the greater Seattle area doesn’t just look to Portland, Ore., or even San Francisco. Instead, we must cast a global eye.

In 2008, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) and Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle developed the first‑ever International Regions Benchmarking Consortium. It’s a network of sophisticated city‑centered metropolitan regions that find it mutually beneficial to compare and learn from each other through economic and social data statistics and in‑depth research into specific issues of common interest. They range from Fukuoka in Asia to Helsinki in Europe to Melbourne “down under.” Others include Barcelona, Dublin, Munich, Stockholm, Vancouver and Daejeon, South Korea. Seattle of course is included, and Microsoft and Boeing each provided substantial funding to launch the effort. Read More »

Urban-Metro-Global: Our New Economic Imperative

William Stafford / Jun 11 2009

For Release Thursday, June 11, 2009
Citiwire.net

William Stafford For 17 years I’ve been privileged to organize Seattle region delegations of dozens of business and civic leaders on study missions to citistates around the world.

Such heavyweight global regions as Shanghai, Munich, Dublin, Hong Kong, Helsinki, Melbourne, London, Singapore, and most recently Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have all been targets of our missions. The effort, still unique among U.S. regions, has been led and coordinated by my organization, the Trade Development of Great Seattle, an affiliate of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

What each visit has underscored for us is how central cities’ hopes, fortunes, and place in the world are tied to those of the entire metro regions around them.

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Learning Through World-Wide Bridge Building

William Stafford / Apr 30 2009

For Release Sunday, May 3, 2009
Citiwire.net

William StaffordAmerica’s relations with the Islamic world, and the Arabian area specifically, are one of the most important in our nation’s future. While foreign policy is the responsibility of national governments, relationship building actually falls to people and urban regions who find themselves at the forefront of building these relations. The Greater Seattle region has begun building a friendship bridge to the Middle East.

We–the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and the Greater Seattle Chamber–have been mounting yearly International Study Missions of civic and business leaders of our citistate for many years. Recently we organized an annual International Study Mission program to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Our goal, as always: to study an urban region overseas to learn about how it competes in a global economy. The trips are a “traveling university,” with the student body encompassing the civic leadership of the Greater Seattle region.

The visit to the UAE was suggested by Boeing, with a goal of enhancing our leaders’ understanding of that part of the world and strengthening relations with it. We wanted to study the UAE’s successes and challenges, as well as to learn more about each other. Our delegation found the people of these two emirates to be warm and friendly and as interested in us as we were in them. Read More »