This issue of affordable housing finance, with its focus on women in the industry, was planned long before millions of women, along with men and children, took to the streets to march in cities and villages around the globe on Jan. 21.
Although it wasn’t plotted to coincide with the protesters who were asserting the rights of women (as well as raising their voices against the new Trump administration), this issue isn’t an accident. Something has been brewing out there for some time.
We published our first “10 Most Influential Women” list last year, and it was easily one of our most popular features in 2016. We didn’t expect it to get 790 “likes” on Facebook and more than 1,000 “shares” through our different social media channels. It struck a chord, so we wanted to highlight more women making a difference in affordable housing this year.
Will we continue to highlight women in the business, like Fortune does, each year? I don’t know. Maybe not, but I’m glad we did this year.
Overall, it’s been a breathtakingly rocky start to 2017, and it was good to talk with Tracy Doran, Ali Solis, Nancy O. Andrews, and the other women featured to get their thoughts. They are smart, confident leaders changing the world. They made me feel better. I think they will make you feel better too.
Another, random thought: There’s a new level of rancor in and around the federal government. I’m not sure things will settle down anytime soon. The good news is that a number of cities and counties passed big housing initiatives in November. For example, voters in Santa Clara County in Northern California passed Measure A, a $950 million bond issue that will help fund the development of affordable housing. That makes me think the greater hope lies at the local and regional levels.
While it’s easy to get buried under what’s coming out of Washington, D.C., don’t lose sight of what’s happening locally. That’s where our next innovations and successes will be born. I can’t wait to see what comes next.