With the storm brewing over the departure of Discovery Communications from Silver Spring, it's time for the region to take action to shape our future ["Discovery is selling Md. headquarters and moving to New York next year," Economy & Business, Jan. 10]. While the move is beyond our control, it could be a sign of clouds gathering. We can wait for the next storm or prepare to compete.

The MetroNow coalition, joined by Urban Land Institute Washington, has broadcast the alert. The Stephen S. Fuller Institute migration report says we are losing ground: "The Washington region lost population to metros with relatively strong job growth, to metros close to the region with lower costs of living." A Kogod Greater Washington Index on millennials states that jobs are priority No. 1, followed by salary and housing affordability. As for our daily commute, "Over half of Millennials surveyed could use Metro to commute but don't because it's too unreliable, expensive and/or time consuming."

Threats to our livelihood can bring us together to take charge of our economic well-being. We must first fix and fund Metro by supporting the MetroNow coalition.

We must also create land-use policies that remove barriers to building housing that is affordable across all income levels, and we must attract businesses that can fuel economic growth and stability. A loss to Silver Spring is a loss to us all.

Yolanda Cole, Washington

The writer is chair
of Urban Land Institute Washington.