Mayor Mutz’s monthly moment – It is time for “Us” to Lift Lakeland

Photo by @hailysomething

This is part of our Voices series with City of Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz, where he breaks down his thoughts about what’s going on in the City – in just one minute. 

Despite the challenges many communities face towards building greater harmony and accountability, in Lakeland, we embrace the need to do so. As a result of patient conversations, your City Commission is developing a plan to intentionally address gaps that exist and triage the opportunities required to minimize them.  

The plan is “Lift Lakeland,” and it considers different starting points and various levels of commitment, provided by many sectors and institutions within our City. It is a Community Plan and not a governmental or institutional program. It requires the voices, desires, and commitments of compelled citizens, just like you, to make it happen. It involves mentoring, networking, training, and heart-to-heart growth in relationships by using the honor-everyone-glue that pulls our City more closely together.

Will it take a lot of work? Yes. But what in life that truly matters doesn’t?

Does it require money to support some aspects of the program? Some, but it is far less about money and far more about the “Us” that makes it happen.  

Great communities who seek inclusion and value people don’t focus on what’s best for “Me”; they focus on what’s best for “Us.”


Photo via Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz

An “Us” mindset provides an incredible re-centering difference because it bridges my interests by also embracing the interests, goals, and perspectives of others. When we do this well, we will consistently consider what is best for the whole.  

Lift Lakeland,” and an “Us” mentality is the exact contra of a “Cancel Culture.” Why? It is simple to cancel; just press the “X” and ignore them or block a specific person. Instead, when we consider ourselves as part of the whole, canceling is not an option. Instead, embracing the needs and hurts of others becomes our compelling motivation. This compassion is what makes Lakeland such a great place to liveand you know what? “Us is going to make it even better!” 

Read this draft plan on “Lifting Lakeland” here.