Citistates Reprise for Owensboro, Kentucky

Twenty years ago, a Citistates team headed by Neal Peirce, visited Owensboro, Kentucky and wrote a bold series of articles for the Messenger-Inquirer praising progress but raising a Ohio River-wide range of challenges. Invited back by the Public Life Foundation, founded by the then-publisher of the newspaper, Citistates undertook over recent months to (1) take stock of what’s happened in those 20 years; (2) explain the “operating system” that makes the region work, when it does; and (3) suggest a new narrative for Owensboro as it tries to be a significant place in the 21st century. The report to the region unfolded in three chapters — see www.civicpact.org — and, while explaining how different the 21st century context is, was generally bullish on Owensboro’s chances for continued success.

Citistates associate Keith Schneider, also a New York Times correspondent since 1981, took the lead on this project, supported by Citistates president Curtis Johnson.