Genesee County, the City of Flint and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce have partnered in an unprecedented, community-driven effort to establish a common economic vision that will drive our region forward through the years ahead.
This collaborative, yearlong process – called ‘Forward Together’ – launched in February and is being led by a 24-member, citizen Steering Committee. To chart a sustainable course toward the kind of economic prosperity and resiliency we all desire, the committee is working diligently to align dozens of community plans while gathering and compiling demographic, economic and other hard data about Flint and Genesee County.
The final product will be an Economic Vitality Action Agenda, which will integrate the findings, analyses, goals and recommendations. It will also include a collection of recommendations (projects, policies and programs) that are key to making our vision a reality.
Critical to formulating an inclusive and comprehensive Action Agenda is having input from as many voices in our community as possible.
On May 14, you will have the opportunity to contribute your thoughts and ideas to this important initiative at the Forward Together Visioning Summit on from 6-8 p.m. in the Baker College gymnasium, 1050 W. Bristol Rd.
This won’t be your typical community meeting. Through interactive presentations, roundtable discussions and individual feedback, this meeting will require you to think deeply about the future of our community. Where are our greatest opportunities? What’s holding us back? Who needs to be involved? What is our potential?
As a resident, employee, land owner, business owner or other stakeholder, you stand to gain from this process and the implementation of its recommendations. Ultimately, Forward Together is intended to deliver greater prosperity and quality of life to all segments of the community.
Moreover, you don’t need to be an expert in community planning, an economist or a sociologist. Your expertise and unique insight come from living, working or raising a family in a Genesee County community. You know much about the community and your perspective is vital to the Action Agenda’s success. And that’s true whether you have recently moved to the area or are a multi-generational, lifelong resident.
So, I urge you to attend the Forward Together Visioning Summit. The doors open at 5:30 p.m., and free pizza and light refreshments will be provided. Although pre-registration is not required, doing so will help us plan the event. To register, go to http:// forwardtogethergenesee.org/.
Keep in mind that when you share an idea, you’re adding directly to the Economic Vitality Action Agenda. Your ideas will serve as the foundation for the community’s vision, contribute to the Action Agenda’s goals, inspire specific actions (like a new project, policy, or program) or set the course for implementation. All input will be recorded, databased, categorized, and analyzed by the Planning Team.
The public will have multiple opportunities to participate throughout the process. But the May 14 summit is your introduction to the vital roles we all have to play.
Tim Herman is CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.