In the summer of 2014, Newport, KY embarked on an endeavor to engage residents, business owners, and political leaders in the creation of a Quality of Life Plan for the city. With funding from Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) of Greater Cincinnati, Brighton Center kicked off the process by establishing a broad base of support among community leaders. From this kickoff, a core team of community members conducted nearly 200 interviews with their neighbors across Newport, including business owners, residents, and public figures.
These one-on-one meetings provided an opportunity for people to share their struggles as well as their hopes and dreams. After compiling the interview responses, ReNewport held a public meeting at the Newport Fire House to report on the results and to frame ReNewport’s next steps. With over 200 people in attendance, the community came together to hear their neighbor’s stories and aspirations. Everyone present broke into small groups and spoke frankly about what was most important to them as well as the best ways to improve their community.
Each group put together a vision for what Newport, as an organized committed community, would have to celebrate ten years from now. Building on the core essence of these visions, six community members agreed to serve as Task Force chair persons devoted to developing strategies to achieve the visions laid out by the broader community. Each Task Force focused their efforts on one of six areas: Housing; Education; Parks, Recreation and Beautification; Economic Development; Health, Wellness and Safety; and Community Engagement. Meeting regularly over many months, these groups researched issues, brainstormed possibilities, brought in partners and developed the strategies presented in this Quality of Life Plan.
By October 2015, the Task Forces had vetted enough ideas, and were ready to seek even more input. An Open House was held at the Carnegie Library, and residents and community leaders were asked to give their opinions relative to priorities and pitfalls of the plan’s drafted goals and objectives. In an effort to reach all residents, fliers were translated into Spanish and delivered to businesses serving the local Latino community. Based on feedback, revisions were made, partnerships were solidified, and final drafting of the Quality of Life Plan began.
Fast forward to today, and we have a fully finished Quality of Life Plan that we, as a community, are currently implementing. With your help, we will fully implement the vision our community has made for the city!