Tandy challenges city to embrace diversity and change, be bold in order to grow

Tandy challenges city to embrace diversity and change, be bold in order to grow

Owensboro native David Tandy challenged the crowd at Thursday’s Rooster Booster to think about how the growth of Owensboro comes from the local level with the people in the community.

Tandy noticed that while serving as President of Louisville’s Metro Council.

“We as Louisville, need to start thinking about things not just in terms of the region — not just southern Indiana and in those counties that border Jefferson County — but we need to start thinking about things at a broader coalition of cities across the Commonwealth,” Tandy said.

While he noted the more than 600,000-people population difference between Owensboro and Louisville, he said the two have similarities in how they are attracting people to their respective markets. Some include the involvement of colleges in tourism, the use of having a diverse amount of people in different places, and more.

He said diversity is a vital component to people being able to see themselves in a city for numerous reasons.

In his law career, Tandy operated at the intersection of business and government and spent time focusing on how the two can be mutually beneficial to each other. He said both require a vitally important part to be effective: an actively engaged community.

Much like he was told as a child, he told the duality of pointing a finger at someone.

“Look at your hand and how many digits come back at you? There’s three coming back at us,” Tandy said. “So what that tells me is that we have to be the ones to fix [issues] and the Chamber of Commerce and people who are part of the Chamber, you can fix that. You are a critical part of making the community what it needs to be.”

Tandy challenged the crowd to continually try three practices to better the city.

Embrace evolution. He said Owensboro is already doing a better job than they were when he was growing up. While looking around the room he noted there were more women and people of color in the room than there would’ve been 20 years ago.

Embrace diversity in all forms. Along with diversity among racial and gender lines, he said to be open to the diversity of the mind. By taking the different perspectives, you are able to find the truth in the middle of the differences between everyone.

Be bold. He encouraged the city to not be fearful of making big decisions for the outcome.

“I would not be who I am today if it was not for many of you in this room today,” Tandy said. “You helped shape me. You helped make me who I am. … My hope is that we will create a city one day where we can come back, that you can keep your talent here.”

By: Josh Kelly The Owensboro Times