There is literally no question that the city of Grand Rapids has been forever changed by the fact that Dick and Betsy DeVos are residents there. They have influenced the shape of the economy and the way that things are run in their city as a result of their enormous wealth. Not only that, but they have been incredibly generous to the point of helping out their fellow residents in ways that no one would have expected.
The time that most people point to as the starting point for the influence that Dick and Betsy DeVos have had over their city is in 1991 when they start to campaign against a multi-sports complex that the city had proposed. They wanted to build out that complex to help attract people to the city, but that plan easily would have backfired in the minds of Dick and Betsy DeVos. They had seen cities like Detroit try to do the exact same thing. What happened when Detroit did this was that it resulted in more declines for the city. The DeVos family did not want to have this happen to their own city. They decided to lobby against it.
When you are a billionaire life gets a lot easier when it comes to political campaigning and advocacy. It is easier when you have strong political connections as well. The DeVos family has both of those things going for them. They have used them to their maximum value as they successfully convinced the city to drop the idea of the sports complex.
It was not as though Dick DeVos just didn’t want the sports complex to come to the city. Rather, he had other ideas that he wanted the city to consider instead. He felt that if they would just give some of his ideas a try that things would work out better and suburban sprawl would be better contained within the city. It turns out that he was right about that. By instead paying for and advocating for a number of other types of buildings, the DeVos family changed the landscape of their dear Grand Rapids for the better.
Great courage is necessary to find ways of doing things like this. If you are not up to the challenge of putting your convictions on the line to get the kind of result that you really need, then you are not the appropriate kind of candidate for the job. Think about things like this in as logical of a manner as you can. You know in your heart of hearts that this is the truth.
Dick DeVos is a great example for anyone out there that change is possible when you strive for a particular goal with everything that you have. If you feel that there is something not being done right in your own city, you should speak up. You might just have some better ideas that work out better for your fellow residents. It worked when Dick DeVos and his wife did so in Grand Rapids.
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