By John Gile
Editor’s note: The following address was given to the Rockford City Council on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010.
My name is John Gile. I call myself a blue collar writer and publisher, a creator of tools for maximizing human potential. My topic tonight is community unity and economic development.
Three years ago, in January 2007, I told you and others in Rockford about a vision for new technology with unprecedented potential for creating jobs and for eliminating hunger around the world. Since that time, other communities have embraced that vision and are taking over what could be Rockford’s leadership role in the design and manufacturing of 21st-century agribusiness facilities that multiply crop production while eliminating pesticides, chemical pollution, crop failures from weather problems, and dependence on climate-altering fossil fuels.
I believe it is not too late for Rockford to take a leadership role if we apply our development efforts and our manufacturing genius to this emerging industry.
At my Web site, www.johngile.com, you will find reports from CNN, Good Morning America, KFOX-TV, and a video clip from Italy, one of several nations embracing the new, urban agribusiness industry. The research and development prototype featured on KFOX explains the growing interest: where 400,000 heads of lettuce were grown with conventional methods, the prototype can produce up to 6 million heads with 80 percent less water. There is no reason Rockford cannot take the lead in this new industry and capitalize on the jobs it will create, producing millions of components for facilities to be built in cities here and abroad and in deserts and on mountains around the world.
I am calling on you to please gather Rockford’s expertise to explore and secure resources to capitalize on this new opportunity.
There is another kind of hunger and thirst which may hit closer to home than the food and water shortages occurring in many parts of the world and which is the driving force creating this new industry. I refer to the hunger and thirst for fairness and justice and equitable treatment.
I applaud you and others who sponsored presentations in October by Lee Mun Wah, an expert on racism and diversity, in an effort to promote community unity by overcoming the fears and ignorance that foster racism.
Just before he arrived, Newsweek magazine published an extensive report on research pointing out that more is needed than remedial approaches at the adult and institutional level, and that racism must be eradicated at its inception.
I am pleased to announce tonight that Rockford, long saddled with charges of racism and unjust practices, now is the home of a new tool parents and teachers can use to begin in childhood the process of opening minds and hearts to understanding, acceptance and harmony among men, women and children of diverse ethnic and racial origins.
We will begin distributing this week an all-Rockford project, a new book—Just Shades of Brown—produced by our Rockford-based publishing company, created and illustrated by a Rockford School District 205 teacher, and printed on Rockford presses.
I want to thank the author and illustrator, Lana Duncan-Hartgraves, for sharing her talent, Lynn Perry and Rockford Litho for making it possible to produce the book locally with high quality at a competitive price, and my wife Renie who designed the book and its cover.
May Just Shades of Brown foster new attitudes and be a blessing for everyone in Rockford and the nation as we begin a new year and a new decade.
John Gile is a Rockford author, publisher, and founder of JGC/United Publishing Corps.
From the Jan. 13-19, 2010 issue.