Above: Attendees at Public Meeting #4 filling out priority ranking sheets
The fourth community workshop was held at New Salem Place Apartments. This workshop was one of the most highly attended workshops over the course of community engagement activities. Many residents participated who had not attended previous community engagement events. The workshop produced robust discussion that generated key concepts and ideas. The engagement stimulated informative and productive conversations.
The Steering Committee has been working hard to access multiple communication channels. Members of the committee have been leveraging their personal contacts and networks in the community. The intentional efforts have produced great value, getting more residents engaged and involved with the future of their community.
The two-hour evening meeting focused on defining four themes by residents. Facilitated by Rise, the conclusion was to organize the recommendations and strategies of the plan into the following four areas: Economic Mobility, Residential Vibrancy, Public Realm, and Social Wellbeing. Goal statements were drafted for each of these four themes. Below are the goal statements for these themes. Additionally, residents took a real-time survey during the workshop where they identified the priorities for each theme. The results of the top priorities are also listed below and are ranked in the order of importance, based on community feedback.
Connect residents to accessible workforce and financial capability resources and support an economically viable commercial corridor that attracts quality businesses and generates employment opportunities
- Job training and career readiness preparations for young adults entering workforce
- Support year-round youth employment opportunities and improve outreach to connect youth to jobs
- Build a network of workforce development resources and providers that equip individuals with job readiness skills
- Develop relationships with major businesses in the city
Encourage stable and diverse housing types for families of mixed incomes based on market realities and vacancy opportunities
- Reduce the number of vacant buildings and land parcels
- Collaborate with financial institutions and organizations to leverage funding accessible to residents and property owners
- Develop home repair programs for home owners
- Encourage resident efforts to maintain and improve their homes
Invest in the built environment to enhance the physical appearance, improve safety, and create a stronger sense of place for residents to gather, socialize, interact, and celebrate
- Improve the quality of roads, sidewalks and lighting to help people move around safely
- Promote involvement of neighbors and community partners in overseeing parks management and participating in park maintenance
- Launch beautification program with trees and plantings
- Institute Winstanley signage and gateway markers to build a stronger sense of place
Support individuals and families by strengthening social cohesion and access to resources that promote active and healthy living
- Seek 24-hour emergency care facility
- Support and empower active neighborhood association to help make the area safe and welcoming
- Create a trauma-informed community
- Encourage mobile grocery store with health food options and health information
It should be noted, the consultant team advised the Steering Committee and the community that a fifth theme will need to be included to comprehensively address the Economic Mobility, Residential Vibrancy, and Public Realm themes, in particular. These themes have a direct impact on land use issues. Therefore, land use will be the fifth theme. Land use will be addressed in full later in the community planning process.