Leaders in training on South Shore | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Leaders in training on South Shore

Tahoe Daily Tribune

In an effort to create leaders for tomorrow, the Chambers of Commerce on the South Shore have teamed up to create Leadership Lake Tahoe.

Last week 24 individuals with varied backgrounds — but with the common interest to make the area a place worth living for generations to come — gathered for their first meeting.

This group ranges from twentysomethings to people with great-grandchildren. Some have lived here a short time, others a lifetime. Some own businesses, others are employees. Men and women are represented in like numbers. Some have made their fortune, others are still trying to.

The only thing missing is a diversity of color — there are only Caucasians in the group.

These people volunteered for the program. Applications were sent in, interviews conducted.

Now they are committed to attend 10 monthly all-day sessions. The goal is that by graduation day in December they will have a better understanding of how the community works, the players involved and an idea of how to make the South Shore a thriving area.

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Ideally they will go on to lead the South Shore, to bring new blood to the table at a time when it is most needed.

The leaders of today need an infusion of fresh ideas from people who are willing and able to carry them out. It is a passing of the torch so to speak.

By the end of the program the 24 will have completed a project that is aimed at tackling a local issue. What they will do has not been decided. But an overriding theme at the first meeting was affordable housing.

In the meantime, these leaders in training have homework assignments that include going to a South Lake Tahoe City Council and a Douglas County Commission meeting. And their word is not good enough. An official must sign off that they really did show up.

A letter to the editor, not necessarily to the Tahoe Daily Tribune, must be written.

Then out of a choice of 39 meetings, six must be attended.

It is clear that these 24 are dedicated to our area just because of the time commitment. Plus, it cost $400 to participate.

This is the first time the chambers have embarked on such an enterprise. We commend them for spearheading the project. They have culled information from other leadership programs to mold this one into something unique.

We seem to be a community struggling to define itself as the disparity between haves and have nots grows, as the tourism industry looks beyond the casinos to attract visitors, as the middle class disappears, as classrooms stand empty …

We hope the first Leadership Lake Tahoe class will pull its energy together to take decisive action and not just have ideas. We need leaders who are not afraid to be proactive instead of reactive.