The Advertiser carries a list of the four organizations that endorsed the fiber project this week and it is part of list that is impressively long and growing longer. I’d add the endorsement of the realty firm Van Eaton and Romero, done from the floor of the Lafayette Coming Together breakfast. In point of fact, three of the four on the Advertiser’s list were announced at that breakfast as part its unity theme: the Lafayette Economic Development Authority (LEDA), the Downtown Development Authority, and Downtown Lafayette Unlimited. LEDA’s address, pointedly delivered by Lafayette Housing Director, Walter Guillory, was the source of the quote pulled in the article:
The fiber buildout “is necessary for Lafayette to compete in the global knowledge economy,” said Walter Guillory, LEDA executive committee member. LUS has the only plan on the table to provide affordable and accessible broadband to all parts of the community, he said.
The fourth, Realtor Association of Acadiana’s, endorsement, came at a press conference Friday. The endorsement dance must be getting wearying for reporters. If you count van Eaton and Romero (and I do) then that is five impressive endorsements this week. But even if it has gotten to be old hat for the endorsers it is still worth noting. Each and every organization had to sit down and think hard about its endorsement. Debate within some was intense. Taking a stand is never easy and those that find the courage to do so, regardless of the side they pick, are always to be commended for standing up.
The businesses that have chosen to endorse are, at least in my judgment, particularly to be commended. They’ve little to directly gain and much to lose. The upside is almost purely alturistic–they want what they believe best for the communty to happen and are willing to lend the buisnesses’ reputation to the effort. The downside is the potential to lose business–their life blood.
What I’ve not seen said publicly, but which deserves real discussion is the disparity between endorsing and condeming organizations. I don’t believe any organization has condemned the plan as unwise, unworkable, or immoral. (The objections the few individuals who have been willing to lend their name to the condemnation make.) But the list of organizations who find compelling reasons to be in favor of it makes a list almost too long to read. This is NOT a case where “some people think this, other people think that” is an adequate description of what is going on in our community. It is a case where almost everyone who has seriously considered the issue, save a noticeably small number of local individuals and the out of town corporations who have the most to lose, have decided that building our own fiber optic utility is the right thing for Lafayette.
A partial roll call of those standing up for Lafayette:
Lafayette Parish Republican Executive Committee
Lafayette Parish Democrat Executive Committee
Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce
Rebuild Lafayette North
Citizens for Common Sense
Citizen Action Council
Lafayette Economic Development Authority
Downtown Development Authority
Downtown Lafayette Unlimited
Acadian Home Builders Association
Realtor Association of Acadiana
The Daily Advertiser
Pixus Digital Printing
Realtor Association of Acadiana
Expressions Unlimited, Inc.
Gauthier’s RV Center
Executan Tanning Salons
Machine Tools, Inc.
Warren Computer Services
MBSB Group Architects
Synergy Information Technology Group
Van Eaton & Romero
Domingue, Szabo & Associates, Inc.
Poor Boy’s Riverside Inn
Privat General Contractors
Barras Mueschke Architects
Coldwell Banker Pelican Real Estate
Central Acadiana Tourism
Bertrand Land Service
Ed Roy, Ltd.
Fabian Patin & Associates Architects
Saloom & Saloom
LL Fitness Inc.
Voorhies & Labbe
Cecil D. Trahan Enterprises, Inc.
LA Home Detention Service
Lafayette Arthritis & Endocrine Clinic
Gerald Thibodeaux Designs
Boudreaux Web Design LLC
Fair Oaks Dev. Inc.