Bill Cimino was among dozens of people who assembled March 29, 2011, to share “What’s your Richmond story?” at the 34th Public Square sponsored by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. In the fall, the newspaper will host the 75th civil, civic conversation about issues of importance and general interest to our readers.

Celebrating a 75th birthday is a big deal.

To reach that milestone, you’ve seen a lot of history, ridden life’s ups and downs and managed to keep it going for a long time.

When the big day hit, you probably had a big party.

The RTD’s Public Square is no different.

In the fall, we’ll mark the 75th time we’ve hosted a civil, civic conversation about issues of importance and general interest to our readers.

That’s right, 75.

Thanks to you, we’re eager for more.

Normally, our topics play off the news.

With No. 75, we’re going to take a different approach in hopes of presenting a gift of knowledge and inspiration to our region. We’re going to look ahead and play off the Public Square legacy.

At our upcoming big event, we’re going to unveil “75 Hopes for Greater Richmond.”

You are hereby invited to participate in this special initiative.

Send us your top hope.

What do you want Greater Richmond to achieve? To focus on? To rally behind? To embrace?

What’s important to you?

What should be important to Greater Richmond?

What is our region missing?

We have a related reason for this project: Your succinct ideas also help us stay relevant in our coverage and enterprise planning.

They deepen our investment in ensuring we’re your source for high-quality reporting and essential coverage.

And they strengthen our decision-making.

Submit your ideas online at Richmond.com/PS75 or send them to the Public Square Team, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 300 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219.

We will gather the best ideas in two formats: the individual submissions, which we’ll collect through July 30, and then apply your responses in a research survey conducted by Christopher Newport University in September, ahead of our fall Public Square. The scientific survey by CNU will yield a report about the region’s most important goals.

We’ll review all hopes and assemble the best.

Finally, we’ll present the “75 Hopes” at the hallmark Public Square in either late September or early October and detail them in the newspaper and on Richmond.com.

Our expectation is that a lot of those hopes will show up as future topics for the next 75 community conversations.

Imagine the extravaganza for the 150th!

Thank you in advance for being a part of our celebration. We really appreciate it.

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Tom Silvestri is president and publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the moderator for all of the Public Squares. He appreciates everyone who has attended the 74 discussions, except for the two men who were asked to leave because of rude behavior.

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