ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Chris Gates, a professional in civic theory and democratic practice, is coming to Aspen to participate in the Aspen-Snowmass 2010 Real Estate Economic Symposium. The symposium will focus on the economic state of the Roaring Fork Valley and the unique challenges Aspen faces as a resort town.Gates, who has a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, is executive director of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, a national learning collaborative of large foundations interested in strengthening America’s democracy. Over the years, Gates, Colorado native, has been a regular advisor to local organizations including the Aspen Institute, Roaring Fork Leadership and the town of Basalt.Gates’ role in the symposium is to facilitate a conversation about the challenges Aspen has to overcome in order to create a sense of community.“I’m there to raise a conversation,” said Gates, “I think there’s a challenge in the valley where there are second-home owners, trophy-home owners, vacationers, locals … and it’s hard to create relationships not only cross-geographically but across [age groups] — some who have lived in Aspen for decades and other young people who have just moved to the valley.”Without a sense of community, said Gates, economic progress becomes stagnant and political issues are not solved.
By Dorothy M. Atkins, August 2, 2010, Aspen Daily News

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