For about as long as I can remember the city of La Crosse has tended to do things the same way, often because that is the way they had always done it. New ideas often needed a task force, or a consultant study, or were simply deemed too risky. Not exactly thinking outside the box. But suddenly, La Crosse’s city hall is listening, and responding. With remarkable speed, considering it is still government, the city council passed, overwhelmingly, plans to help La Crosse’s many bars and restaurants suffering from the pandemic. They will allow those businesses and others to set up shop on sidewalks, parking lots, even on the street so that people can do eat and drink more comfortably. And it is likely to happen quickly, with the city’s Board of Public Works prepared to begin processing applications for outdoor dining and shopping as early as today. Wisely, city hall didn’t limit the plan to just restaurants, including bars and tasting rooms so they too can try to drum up some business. This is progressive and responsive politics on the part of our local leaders. Well done. We don’t see it all that often, but it needs to be recognized and applauded when we do.