On Saturday, June 27, 2015 about 100 people attended the Miller Spotlight Community Kickoff. From 4-6pm members of the community met at St. Mary of the Lake’s Lessard Hall and listened to eleven of their neighbors explain the findings from our grassroots initiative project.
Since February fifteen, volunteer, members of the Miller Spotlight Steering Committee have gathered 4,013 comments about Gary’s very own Miller neighborhood from vested community members. Our community Builder synthesized these comments and seven themes naturally arose from the data gathered:
1. Miler's Area Context
2. Economy and Job Opportunities
3. Safety and Code Enforcement
4. Environment and Eco Tourism
5. Property (Including Blight issues)
6. Education and Youth/ Child Programming
7. Transportation and Infrastructure
On June 27, 2015 volunteers from the community discussed Miller's views on the above themes. They will help determine how we as a community plan to take action towards continuing to revitalize Miller. Cullen Ben-Daniel and Al Renslow presented on Miller’s Area Context, Rebecca “Becky” Wyatt covered Enconomy and Job Opportunities, Commander Rice spoke on Safety and Code Enforcement, Dr. Pete Avis talked about the Environment and Carol Smith chatted about Eco Tourism, Alicia Nunn, Rachel Veronesi and Clarence Knight conversed about Education and Youth/ Child Programming, Gene Ayers talked about the state of our property and Eric Tonk spoke about Transportation and Infrastructure.
Our eleven volunteer speakers did an awesome job bringing to life the data our steering committee has gathered. They had the audience enraptured, which was quite a feat considering they were discussing data, but they were able to get folks to listen because they explained the reasoning behind their passion for the subject they presented on and why it is so important to our community.
A special thanks goes out to Judith Siroky for all her help and St. Mary of the Lake’s for being a great venue. Ray “The Sound Guy” was just great. He donated his services in the midst of a giant rain storm and had a smile on the whole time. Dr. Eve Battando lent her fab tech skills and projector to the event as well as helped post flyers. Mandi Renslow and Sarah Radowski were great at designing our data boards
To view our Kickoff PowerPoint click here. To view our Gary-Miller Spotlight Community Quality of Life Conversation Report here. (If you would like a downloadable PDF of the report email Jessie Renslow via firstname.lastname@example.org.) Unfortunately, we had a bit of technical difficulty with our video camera, but you can view 10 minutes of footage here.
SO, WHAT’S NEXT????
Our Visioning Session is the next stage of the Neighborhood Spotlight process. What is a community vision and why is it important?
A community vision is a statement that describes where a community wants to be in the future. It also explains what the community wants to do or get done. These types of statements are usually short, with many being just one sentence. These kinds of statements are important because they indicate the primary goals of a community.
Miller’s will not lay out a precise plan for how to achieve these goals, but it will outline our community objectives clearly. Its main purpose will be to orient everything our community does. From our vision it will be possible for our theme-based Action Groups to come up with the strategies and/or techniques to move forward in a very specific direction to accomplish progress in the revitalization efforts we are planning to undertake.
At the visioning session, attendees will help construct Gary-Miller’s community vision and hopefully sign up to join Action Groups to help assess the themes presented in this quality of life study. The Action Groups will meet 3-6 times between July and September to construct plans to access each theme. Afterwards the community builder and IACED will construct a Community Plan that will be implemented in 2016.
So, please come to the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts on 7/7/15 at 6:30pm to find out more about Miller Spotlight and where it will take our community in 2016! RSVP on Facebook here. Walk-ins welcome!!! You can sign up for an Action Group there too. You don’t have to be from Gary-Miller, or live here you just need to be invested in our revitalization efforts to participate. Your opinion matters!