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#Proudly DeKalb Says It All

Hashtag Proudly DeKalb.

You've probably seen the signs and t-shirts. What's it all about?

A year ago, a group of committed citizens entered DeKalb into the America's Best Communities competition. Sponsored by Frontier Communications, the challenge was for small towns to come up with an economic development plan.

DeKalb rose to the challenge with seven creative initiatives that included the arts, small-business development plans, an education center, and a food hub. Three hundred and fifty towns entered the competition, and DeKalb is now one of 15 semi-finalists.

In April, the top eight towns will be awarded $100,000 to implement their plans. And the following April, these eight will be judged on their efforts. Three will receive the top prizes of $3 million, $2 million, and $1 million dollars.

But when you talk to the organizers, you'll hear that -- no matter what happens with the competition -- DeKalb is a winner.

You'll hear about new partnerships formed, town-gown connections made, and initiatives that will happen with or without the prize money.

Don't get me wrong, winning the big money would be great. But no matter what, good things have come from the planning.

So how can people participate? Check out the Proudly DeKalb website and tell your DeKalb story. Spread the word through social media. Wear the Proudly DeKalb shirts and displays the signs. Attend the town hall meeting at the Egyptian on March 24.

It seems our politicians can't stop talking about what's wrong with things. Here's a chance for us to consider and talk about what's right.

I'm Deborah Booth, and that's my perspective.

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