Earlier this week, Nicole Gallines of the Manhattan Institute wrote a NYT op-ed piece titled “The Life and Death of American Cities” about the change in leadership sources and their inability to get things done. That’s certainly been true of Portland and also of the capital city of my adopted region, Seattle/ Puget Sound. When I visited Toronto for the first time 40 years ago, it wasn’t the big towers downtown that struck me, or even the zoo or the science center, but the flowers outside in the garden district. It’s everyday things like this that decorate their city and cause everyday delight, that citizens can do to decorate and improve their city. And, with social media, it’s easier than ever for residents and business owners to unite and decide what they can do together. The next generation of innovations in cities will come from the grassroots. It’s what has traditionally made Portland strong, and it will do so again.