One of my favorite bands, Green Day, has a famous song that says, “Wake me up when September Ends.” Over the years, it has become sort of a metaphor for wishing a difficult time period would come to a close. I’m sure many of us have been saying, “Wake me up when 2020 ends.” Well, that time has arrived.

All joking aside, 2020 was a rough time period for nearly everyone, but even during all the tumult, there were positive things that happened, especially for the City of Danville.

In May, Site Selection Magazine recognized the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County as a Top 10 Micropolitan Area in the United States. In August, Danville was awarded the prestigious 2020 All-America City designation by the National Civic League. The city is one of only 10 communities nationwide to receive this designation, which is awarded annually to recognize communities that are best tackling critical challenges. In the fall, Police Chief Scott Booth received the Excellence in Policing Award from the Radford University Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research.

There were several other awards and recognitions given to Danville in 2020. Possibly, the biggest story, however, coming out of our River City last year was the voters approving the arrival of a world class Caesars Resort & Casino. Estimated to hire 1,300 people and bring in $38 million per year in new tax revenue, it has the potential to transform Danville almost overnight.

We will now have the ability to fund (and improve) our schools, strengthen our city’s infrastructure, build up our reserve funding, and many other things. These decisions shouldn’t solely be made by those at City Hall. We need our citizens involved in the process. This is a critical time period for Danville’s future. Every man, woman and child should make sure their voices are heard in how Danville invests in its future. We will never have a greater opportunity to do so than what we have right now.

We have woken up from 2020. Now it is time to meet this new year, and decade, head on and each do our part to make it the best one that our region has ever seen.