Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on 1A | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on 1A

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."

I think the inspiring wisdom found in this Chinese proverb has never been more applicable to our community than now. Nearly four years ago I moved to the Vail Valley and have experienced one of the greatest personal and professional growths of my life. This community and its people have welcomed me and supported me in ways I could have never imagined. For this reason, I live in constant gratitude and hope for my community's people and future.

In an effort to give back and support causes that will sustain and grow our people and our economy, I will be voting "yes" on 1A. The affordability and availability for housing in our community is at a level of extreme hardship. We are already nearly 4,500 housing units short as of today and will be almost 12,000 short by 2025 to house our local workforce. Ballot issue 1A will support a 0.3 percent sales tax to fund workforce housing efforts countywide. Approximately $5.4 million will be generated per year and would sunset after 20 years. This tax will provide down payment assistance loans for home ownership and acquire land for future housing units affordable to the workforce.

Our people and community are likely to age out entirely if we don't do something to create a place for the folks that work here to also have a place to sleep here. Without the efforts of 1A in Eagle County, we will eventually not have a place for our local workforce to live. Essentially, the community will simply become a place for tourist and retirees.

Please join me in collaborative and creative approach that will create sustainable and long-term growth for families and jobs. While the best time to plant a tree may have been 20 years ago, let's live in the present of the here and now and make a difference. Make a change — re-ignite efforts and plant the tree now!

Lorrie Johnson