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Forbes Names The Friendliest Towns in America: H.O.W. Is The Answer!

Updated on June 19, 2013

THE CRITERIA

Forbes Magazine recently announced the Top Fifteen Friendliest Towns in the United States. In order to determine ranking, Forbes ranked towns with a population of between 5,500 and 150,000 based on four data points:

· Percentage of owner-occupied homes

· The crime rate

· Charitable giving

· Percentage of college graduates

The reasons behind using the crime rate and charitable giving should be obvious. The percentage of owner-occupied homes was used as a criteria because studies have shown a direct correlation between homeownership and neighborhood stability. As for the percentage of college graduates, studies have also shown that college-educated folks typically display more civic engagement, with higher rates of voting and volunteering.

Sammamish, WA
Sammamish, WA | Source

FRIENDLY FOLKS ACROSS AMERICA

Based on those criteria, the Top Eight Friendliest Towns are:

1. Sammamish, Washington population 46,700

2. Orinda, California population 17,932

3. Fishers, Indiana population 79,127

4. Seal Beach, California population 24,536

5. Westerville, Ohio population 36,665

6. Frisco, Texas population 121,387

7. Alpharetta, Georgia population 46,700

8. Downers Grove, Illinois population 48,163

OTHER COMMONALITIES

Besides the four criteria mentioned earlier, most of these towns also shared several other factors. All have open public spaces such as parks, beaches, and outdoor recreational facilities. They all have a central downtown area for town-sponsored events. They all have festivals, concerts, and street markets, and many have neighborhood watch groups.

Sammamish, on the shores of Lake Sammamish, is a bedroom community east of Seattle. Nearly 90% of the residents there own their own homes. The unemployment rate is right around 5%, and the crime rate is 90% lower than the national average. Community events include a weekly farmer’s market, a Concert in the Park series, Shakespeare in the Park, a Jazz Music Festival, and an Arts Fair. In addition, it offers a bevy of outdoor activities including boating, swimming, hiking, fishing and biking.

Another common factor that all of these towns share is organized neighborhood groups that promote neighbors interacting with each other, and community involvement.

Olympia, WA
Olympia, WA | Source
Welcome to the Northeast Neighborhood of Olympia
Welcome to the Northeast Neighborhood of Olympia | Source

REFLECTIONS FROM OLYMPIA, WASHINGTON

Normally this writer pays little attention to national magazines and their lists. They are, for the most part, valuable only as a source of conversation around the water cooler at work, as well as giving bragging rights to a select few towns. However, this subject is near and dear to my heart, because it speaks about something that is sorely missing in the United States today.

I have written often about the need for neighbors to come together. First neighborhoods, then communities, then cities, and then the nation….. that is my vision of how we are going to solve our common problems in this country.

We cannot rely on the government to bail us out of this mess. That simply is not going to happen, so that leaves the job at our doorstep.

I live in Olympia Washington, and to be specific I live in the Northeast Neighborhood of Olympia. I capitalized the neighborhood name for a reason, namely because it is an active group of people who have organized and coordinated to make their area livable and safe. Crime is lower in our neighborhood than in the rest of Olympia. There is a feeling of safety in our little corner of the world, and there is also a feeling of friendship and comradeship here. It reminds me very much of the neighborhood where I grew up as a kid, where neighbors talked to each other when outside, and helped each other when help was needed.

It is my vision for the rest of this once-great country, but it is going to take a coordinated effort on the part of each community.

WHAT’S IT GOING TO TAKE?

I heard a Congressman in Washington D.C. say once that the most important politicians in the country are not the U.S. Senators, or the U.S. Representatives, or even the President. The most important politicians in this country are the school board members, and the planning commission members, and others who hold positions where real decisions are made on a local level. Those are the real seats of power in this country, and those are the seats of power where real change will happen.

I happen to believe that. Day to day, most decisions made in Congress have very little effect on me or my family. However, the decisions made by the folks in City Hall in downtown Olympia tend to affect me on a regular basis, so if I want to change things where I live then I need to be in an organized group that will demand change. Our neighborhood group does that, and that makes me feel better.

Listen, we all know that things are not going well in this country. We all know about the problems of crime, drugs, homelessness, sex trafficking, unemployment and on and on. The question is what are we going to do about those things? Are we going to continue to hide in our homes and bemoan the fact that times are tough, or are we going to be the instruments of change? I have no patience with whiners; I have infinite patience for those who come up with solutions and then find a way to make those solutions work.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

What do you want to do? Do you want a safer neighborhood? Then don’t sit back and wait for someone else to organize your neighbors; be the instrument of change!

Do you want better schools? Then get involved with the school board and be the instrument of change!

Do you want to end homelessness in your city, or find a way to help Veterans get the benefits they deserve? Then step up to the plate and start your own citizen action group, and by doing so become an instrument of change!

The opportunities are endless, but they require serious-minded people with serious-minded solutions, and a willingness to step out of their comfort zone and make things happen.

In case you haven’t noticed it, the wolves are howling at the door, and believe me when I tell you that wolves are not selective in choosing their next dinner. What has happened to millions in this country can happen to you, and you, and you over there.

Each one of us can make a difference. I’m wondering how much longer it will take!

H.O.W. are you going to make your town a better place to live in? H.O.W. are you going to make your town a friendlier town? H.O.W. are you going to make your town a safer town?

Humanity One World…..making a difference one person, one neighborhood, one town at a time.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Right On! Right On! I am going to the local government offices today, physically and see how I can best implement this truth.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very cool, Eric! It has worked in our neighborhood. We need to gain back control of our communities, and it takes people like you to do it. Good luck, and thank you!

    • profile image

      JThomp42 4 years ago

      Amen Bill!! The wolves are howling and they are thirsty for more blood. It starts with us. One person can turn into 100 and 100 into 1000 if we are proactive. Do we have a choice? In my opinion, NO. Not if we care about the precious children hat will be inheriting this mess. Great hub my friend!!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Oh so true and love how you always break it down so simple. This really is a no-brainer, but so many wouldn't even think to do it. Thanks for sharing and have of course voted way up, shared and tweeted!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, some of the simplest solutions in life are never thought of on a daily basis. I guess we are all too complicated. LOL Thank you as always!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeff, I don't know what it's going to take to turn things around, but something has to happen or we are all in trouble.

      Thank you my friend; have a great day!

    • Dan Barfield profile image

      Dan Barfield 4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England, UK

      It's great to see this kind of real-world activism billybuc! Love the message as always. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Dan, and I agree...it's really good to see some communities who understand what it is all about.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bil...excellent points, as always. I feel it is very important to keep our finger on the pulse of our LOCAL governments.....which in many ways, can seem to be the "origin" for all of us little people. Personal experience and involvement, at the very least, is educational......even though"politics," may not be our favorite subject.

      I do adhere to the belief that if we don't remain interested and informed....."while the cat's away, the mice will play."

      "They" need to be motivated (supervised and nagged) and reminded who pays their salary and most all.....be held accountable... UP+++

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, interesting hub and the whole idea of being neighbourly is also dying out in my part of the world as well. To be honest, I keep myself to myself though I do chat to neighbours if I'm outside in my garden. I live in a market town currently threatened with losing its ancient market status and I am unhappy about that because it is the heart of my town, and the centre for everything that happens in the town. I think you make some excellent points here!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      It sounds like the people in your area have already come together in a very positive way. The list in the magazine did share those important aspects that you have talked about. I have seen lists in other publications and the cities or towns are different but the community amenities are always similar. You have some excellent ideas in this hub. UP++++

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      It's true Bill...I was just asking my family "if the electric was flipped off forever starting right this minute - how would it change your life?" It spurred a nice conversation about how people need each other. Wouldn't that be scary!

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I think that the first thing we need to do for change is to systematically leave the politicians out of our lives. Start paying it forward to that struggling family in the community. Pay their gas bill, make them dinner, secretly give them a gift certificate to the local Wal-Mart. You would be surprised how small acts of kindness have big results.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      The simplest solutions are usually the best and most effective. Great writing and caring Bill!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, this is a beautiful way of once again reaching out with your plea. You've illustrated how being kind, stepping up to the place and becoming an instrument of change is already working around our nation. Hopefully, before long H.O.W. will be a household word and a way of life for the rest of the world.

      You've thrown the pebble in the pond. It's up to the rest of us to keep the momentum in the ripple!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill - Great thoughts! Sometimes it doesn't take a lot to make things better. One thing most of these communities have in common is a stability factor. Unfortunately, some cities, like Lexington, Ky., tend to be growing too fast to allow this. A massive influx of population brings with it all types, good and bad. It also means that the roots of the society are somewhat lost as others seek to ignore or misuse the offerings the original offered. When city managers and city councils also forget these things, and instead, seek only to please the wealthy (similar to our Federal Government) you end up with everyone pulling their own direction, instead of together. Sometimes I think about moving to a smaller town and returning to that type of life. But then, I remember how frustrated I was with the lack of necessities and conveniences that was offered there, and reconsider. It's definitely a push/pull scenario. Great job, my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, i agree completely. Right now I hate politics, but I swear to God I'm thinking of running for office in the Fall....if I'm not willing to do my part then I need to shut up. :)

      Thanks buddy; you are appreciated as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, if your town were to do that it would be disastrous. I've seen it happen elsewhere and that kind of mistake takes decades to correct. I hope it doesn't happen my friend. Thanks for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Pamela. This is a pretty progressive state, and you see this kind of thing in quite a few towns and cities in Washington. I love this state because of that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, I wrote a hub about what would happen if we lost the cell phone and computer.....how would we survive? No joke....instant panic in civilization as the two main forms of communication would be gone. Let's hope it never happens.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, I wouldn't be surprised at all; I've seen it too many times to be surprised by it. Yes, can the politicians...they live in a reality none of us know. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, they are simple, and effective, and perhaps that is why communities and governments never turn to them. :)

      Thanks buddy; sending you positive vibes.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hell, Sha, I'm going to keep throwing those pebbles; you guys and gals can jump into the pond any old time you are ready. I know you already have and I love you for it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, great thoughts. How many times have we seen a community outgrow its planning. I know it happened nearby here in several cities. Plan for the future and take care of the present....easy to write but not so easy to make happen.

      Thanks for a great comment; I can tell you for sure I'm moving to a smaller town in three years, and the one I'm in is only 48,000 people. LOL

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Bill

      You know I am on board and do subscribe to the belief that it is time for us to step up to the plate by becoming actively involved in our towns. One way that is so small is to support community events that are held..and this town does that. My town does not fall into the 5000 people town but it is a town that is trying to put the pieces together to make sense of things.

      I just think that maybe the name Forbes might have given the towns they selected is : Stable Towns or Cities ...I think measuring 'friendliness' would require them to go to those towns and living there long enough to determine how friendly the people really are. Charitable giving is a way to demonstrate it but giving monies to a charity is not the same as helping a town to recover from a disaster by rolling up your sleeves and getting in to help rebuild and other things of that nature. H.O.W. to me means being willing to go the extra mile..to put ourselves out to make a difference in our towns.

      The challenge to each of us at the end of your article is powerful---when we will do our part??

      Sending you Angels my friend....:) ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's funny, PS, but I had the same problem with the title of Forbes' article. I'm not sure it's possible to measure friendliness; seems a bit subjective to me.

      We can, however, measure the degree to which we become part of this movement....to which WE become a part of this movement. Every single person has to do their part or be satisfied with the lack of results.

      Thank you for being the person that you are; you continually life me and others up with your words.

      hugs and gladly accepting those angels

      bill

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I liked this a lot, Billy! Arranging and participating in community and charitable events helps bind neighborhoods together. Politicians at the grass roots level are the only ones I tend to listen to. They actually know how 'real people' live and work and survive.

      I wouldn't mind living in Downers Grove, Illinois! ('War of the Worlds' radio program)

      Voted Up, Useful and Interesting

      Pearl

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, that's right! I'd forgotten about the War of the Worlds and Downers Grover...wow, great memory!

      Local level...that's what this has to be accomplished. It ain't happening in D.C., that's for sure.

      Thanks as always my friend; I hope you are well and happy!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - I must admit to living in an area that is a bit more sheltered than some. The neighbors within our locale have known each other many generations while new neighbors moving in get a helping hand from the rest. I guess you could say we are about as close to Mayberry as you can get. Just the other day, our new young couple building a house next door walked our recycling bin up our drive way for us. This is no small feat since the drive is quite a long one. It may seem small but it was an act of kindness so sorely missing in many parts of the world.

      I say this only because I was treated to the perfect example of what can happen when a community comes together. During Sandy, many homes were severely damaged and every neighbor came out to do their part. From holding benefits at the American Legion and VFW to providing shelter, food and clothing to those needing it. Every person offered their specialized services for free. Carpenters helped repair houses while earth movers re-dug ditches and driveways.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Great hub and I am sad to say I have lived in some of the unfriendliest towns in the U. S. Newport, Oregon for one. Always made friends but there is kind of an attitude..and neighbors do not come over with a cake. Great fun to ready.

    • farmloft profile image

      farmloft 4 years ago from Michigan

      People making decisions when times are tough usually go for what they think will save the most money. When governments cut out the programs that promote local control and consolidate into bigger and bigger entities, the loss of community costs more than dollars and cents.

      One of our neighbors who travels around the country has been asked why he doesn't move to one of the big cities he services, why does he live in a small town? He looked around at the packed funeral home for when his sister died, and said "they just don't get it - this is why I live here." In my neighborhood when someone dies, the funeral home is filled with visitors for two or three days. People collect donations for the family, bring food, do chores, mow lawns, etc. People do care about each other and raise funds for the sick, check in on the elderly, pitch in when tragedy strikes, and get feisty at town hall when necessary. Strong neighborhoods make strong towns. Voted up

    • JimTxMiller profile image

      Jim Miller 4 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

      Great, Bill! Now I've got Sammamish, WA to add to my short list of relocation candidates.

      I'm sure you remember the iconic Pogo cartoon from the hippie-dippie sixties. I propose we rephrase it to "We have met the solutions, and they are us!"

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Billybuc for President! lol! sorry, I am English, forgot for a moment! seriously these sound great places, and getting involved to make a difference in our towns and cities can only be good, nice one bill!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      A great work, Billy. You know, I have to say something about Stillwater, where I live. It was chilly out a few mornings ago, and a lady that I didn't know stopped her car to take me to work. She said that it was too cold to be walking. How's that for neighborly and kind?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I hear stories like your neighbor, and the town pitching in, and my faith in mankind is renewed. Thank you for sharing those stories. There is a lot of goodness out there; we just have to find a way to make it the majority rather than the silent minority.

      love always,

      billy

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I have been to Newport...can't really say I remember much about it, but what you described does not surprise me. I've seen that kind of attitude in much of the west for whatever reason.

      Thanks as always for the drop by. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      farmloft, there isn't a thing I could add to what you have written. I have lived in small towns where people act exactly as you described, and it is beautiful to see. Thank you for sharing that; in 3 years I will be back in a small town and I can hardly wait. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jim, of course I remember Pogo, and I love your paraphrase. For sure, the solutions are us.

      Thank you Jim! Compared to Texas, I would imagine Sammamish would seem like the other side of the world.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, watching the hell that President Obama faces each day, you couldn't pay me enough to take that job.....but man oh man, would it ever be fun shaking up the power structure for a little while. LOL

      Thank you Nell! You are always welcome in my neighborhood.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, that is just totally awesome. I love hearing stories like that one. Thanks for sharing that. With each story like that my faith in mankind is renewed.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Great article Bill. I can remember when the school was the most important place in town, everyone supported all the activities, basketball was number one and the whole town turned out to spur the players to victory. PTA was highly respected. Church was the place to meet your neighbors, everyone was welcome. Those were the good old day's. People caring about each other, that's what builds strong communities.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Well said...just as charity begins at home...communication is important for making any town friendly or a ghost town.

      Gotta reach out to our neighbors and they will in turn extend their hands to us.

      Voted up as useful and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you speak the truth. What happened to those days? When did supporting the schools and being active in local policy-making become too much of a bother? I'm working on a new saying: those who scream the loudest do the least. :) Thank you as always my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I totally believe that, Ruchira! How do we know unless we try?

      Thank you as always!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, I agree, charity does begin at home. We cannot help others until we help those closest to us, our neighbors and friends.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well put Michelle! I agree completely! Thank you!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you again for this. What you are suggesting was easy for me. For those that are not like me, may I suggest talking to others to discover people of like minds.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Great hub with a great message Bill. Possible I believe all over America if people are willing and neighbors reach out to one another. Here it is a completely different world and if you have friends thats who you spend time with, Neighbors rarely reach out to neighbors except in times of need and everyone lives their own lives. Passing this on.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I totally agree! This is a matter of reaching out and finding commonalities. We are in for great surprises if we do so. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, of course there are parts of America where that is true as well. It is sad to see, but all we can do is reach out one person at a time and hope that makes a difference. Thank you as always!

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      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I'm a little sad that none of the cities listed are in Minnesota! So much for "Minnesota Nice". Great article and I completely agree with you that grassroots changes begin in the school boards, city counsels, etc. Organizing community and neighborhoods strengthens our social bonds and makes us a better country.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well there you go, Melissa! You can start a grassroots movement and get Minnesota in the top ten next year. :) You have nothing better to do, right? LOL Thanks my young friend; it's always nice to see you stop by.

    • stephanieb27 profile image

      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      I am very fortunate to have moved to an amazing subdivision two years ago. My mom always comments how lucky we are to have landed where we did. However, I like to pretend I am in a bubble (my neighborhood). In my bubble, everything is wonderful! The neighbors are super nice and there is a strong sense of community. Being mostly at home with my kids I don't have to venture out into the "real world" as often as others. Your hub has encouraged me to "do my part" and not just ignore what is happening. I need to this for my boys!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Stephanie, there is nothing wrong with living in a bubble...unless it pops! LOL I understand what you are saying and I agree with it. When we have kids there is no such thing as a decision based just on me....it is always based on we.

      Thank you!

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      Interesting hub....

      I happen to live about 20 minutes from Fishers, IN. 20 years ago, it was about a fifth the size it is today. They have done a wonderful job a doing all the right things to make it grow. It is indeed a great community.

      I agree you HAVE to get involved in your community if you want to make it better....and not rely on others to make it that way.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, it will be interesting to see if Fishers outgrows it's livability. I've seen it happen with other towns. I hope they have a good planning commission.

      Thanks for the visit my friend. I hope you are well and happy.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      I hear those wolves howling, Billy - loud and clear!

      And, i'm a firm believer in United We Stand - Divided We Fall...

      ironically - more so than quite a few Americans i've run into lately..

      I am having a bit of a down day and finding the 'save humanity' cape heavier than usual..

      You're amazing in your stamina, my friend..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, square those shoulders and get back in the fight. I purposely did not read the comments on your latest hub. I was afraid I'd lose my cool and serenity if I did. :)

      Stamina? I just love to write, Leslie! My voice reaches people; not sure how much good it does, but it feels right.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Thank you for explaining why home ownership and college graduates has anything to do with why a town is friendly ... I was stuck on that for a little while ^_^ I may just want to move to one of these town now! OR... I can work on getting my own town on the list... haha. voting up and sharing ^_^

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great and awesome hub, Billy! But did you notice that non of those towns are from the NORTHEAST!! We must be a touch bunch to please, LOL. But seriously, I believe that there are lot of small towns, all around the country, that still have that neighborhood concept, and are taking care of their community...... but most of the places are losing it. I would like to add another 'Brick' to your wall - The Family - it's the foundation of any society, and that's where we are weak. If you compare the family units of 50 years ago with the majority of the family units that are around now, you will be able to see why there is such a difference in our society now.

      Your hub is very inspiring, and a reminder for all of us to focus on our neighborhood..... Enjoyed it, as always. Passing it on. Take care, my friend!

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      Sunnie Day 4 years ago

      Billy each time I think you cannot top your last hub...You have done it again. Excellent hub, one that makes so much sense. You are so right... we can speak about change but unless we get up and do something we cannot think that anything will change. When I was younger I would say, " I wish..." My dad would say in his sometimes sarcastic way, "Wish in one hand and go to the bathroom in the other...lets see which one gets filled up the fastest"..as a kid this was down right disgusting..however as an adult I do get his point..lol. Thank you for writing this and will share for sure. Perfect in every way.

      Sunnie

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      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      I think my town is working on making that list. I would love to visit each of those cities. Thank you for sharing the details.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is another awesome hub by you Bill! It is sometimes overwhelming, to know where and how to start making a change. We can start with out neighbors. Get to know your neighbors and watch out for each other. If you have children in school, get more involved there as well. Go the the school board meetings and voice your opinion! Get to know your City Councelmen and your Mayor. City Councel meeetings are open to the public. We definitely need to make changes in our world and we can start at the places closest to home! Voted up and awesome! :)

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 4 years ago from Georgia

      Hello Billy, Congratulations on another thought provoking, action inducing article. I think that often people are so caught up in their day to day lives that it is difficult for them to move outside their personal sphere to see how things like a good local government, or even just getting to know their next door neighbor, is so important to their own quality of life. I live in a very small subdivision but in a very big county. To be honest, it takes a lot of work to stay civically engaged, but when you don't things may happen to your community that you don't necessarily feel are good and you have had no input.

      Keep us on our toes, Billy.

      Really good article. Take care.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha, the first time I read the article I was confused by those two things as well. I think you should kickstart a campaign in that Oregon town of yours. Get it ready for your child to grow up in.

      Thank you my dear!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzie, it's so nice to see you again, and I mean that with all seriousness. I love it when you stop by.

      As for the hub, I actually did notice that the Northeast was left out, and that surprised me a bit because I always think of Vermont and New Hampshire as perfect places to live. Anyway, the hub about family is coming soon, and you are absolutely correct....until we repair the American family this country will continue to have problems.

      Thank you my dear friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Sunnie...thank you for your kind words. As for your dad....that is hilarious! What a great line, and what a great point he made. Without action dreams are just dreams. Take that one to the bank!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      bridalletter, I love that your town does many of these things. I think the salvation of this country is going to happen at a local level. I sure don't see it happening on a Federal level anytime soon.

      Thank you and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SG, I think you have hit on one of the problems. I think people believe that small actions don't mean much; I happen to disagree. We all need to start small and build on it. It's hard to see how it affects the bigger picture but it does.

      Thank you and have a wonderfully happy weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, a lot of times I'm trying to keep myself on my toes. Many of the lessons I write about are reminders for me so that I don't become complacent and expect someone else to do the work for me. This is a job for everyone, or we have no right to complain about anything in society.

      Thank you for a great comment; you are appreciated!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      A neighborhood is family when everyone contributes to one another. Sounds like you live in an ideal setting. I have family living in Fishers, Indiana. It is a nice area, a bit congested, but it does have friendly people living there. You have instigated the community to reach out to those around them. a great way to start building our nation a community at a time.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, one neighborhood at a time. We can change this! I have been to Sammamish of course, and it is a lovely town. A bit exclusive in its cost to live there, but it is a safe place to live and a very friendly town.

      Thank you Dianna!

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