Category Archives: Plan Updates

Working Meeting #1: 11/29/2016

Seasons Greetings!

On Tuesday, November 29th, a group of more than 70 people came together for the first Public Working Meeting of the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Planning Initiative! Hosted at Thomas Dunn Learning Center, the group of residents, business owners, local developers, elected officials, and other stakeholders used the theme of “People” to brainstorm strategies, goals and partners for a variety of focus areas. We began with a Presentation, then broke into small groups to brainstorm ideas. Additionally, participants reviewed a draft of the Neighborhood Vision Statement, developed by the Steering Committee the week prior.

We learned that meetings are most effective and appreciated when residents have the opportunity to collaborate with their neighbors. Those who attended the meeting liked the opportunity to brainstorm in small groups; in the future, we will ensure these opportunities exist at all meetings.

We have organized the strategies, goals and partners based on the focus area it pertains to:

  • In the Health and Safety focus area, our major takeaways are:
    • The need to reduce crime; community-grown solutions will help
    • Increase access to healthy foods and health services
    • Desire for a safe and engaged community
    • Click HERE to see data related to Health & Safety. Click HERE to see all of the input we received about this topic during the Working Meeting.
  • In the Youth and Families focus area, our major takeaways are:
    • Connecting schools with community to improve youth opportunities
    • Bringing neighbors together to make change (block parties, neighborhood watch, etc)
    • We have strong partners
    • Click HERE to see data related to Youth & Families. Click HERE to see all of the input we received about this topic during the Working Meeting.
  • In the Economic Development and Prosperity focus area, our major takeaways are:
    • Support local, youth, refugee, and minority-owned business & entrepreneurship
    • Program to provide financial literacy job training
    • Policies to mitigate gentrification and build wealth for low-income residents
    • Click HERE to see data related to Economic Development & Prosperity. Click HERE to see all of the input we received about this topic during the Working Meeting.
  • In the additional seven focus area, our major takeaways are:

Draft Vision Statement

“Our vision is for accessible, sustainable, inclusive neighborhoods where families and individuals thrive in a diverse and historically rich, engaged community.”

If you weren’t able to make it, we have developed online versions of our activities that can be accessed here. We will also be doing this outreach on-the-ground in order to ensure we are capturing as many voices as possible, including those who may not have access to the internet. Thank you for your continued support and participation in the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan! We look forward to seeing you at our next Working Meeting at the end of January. Until then, Happy Holidays!

Community Insights: Kick-Off and Beyond

Hello! Over the past few weeks, we have been working with residents and local stakeholders to determine community assets, challenges and opportunities; focus areas for intervention and community-led development; and priorities for the Gravois-Jefferson Planning effort. With information gathered at our Kick-Off Event on November 1st and our second Steering Committee meeting on November 10th, in addition to one-on-one and group meetings with individuals living and working in the area, we have compiled summaries that offer insight into the collective understanding of our neighborhoods. For those that have not had the opportunity to voice their thoughts, please consider participating in the activities using our online platform!

A general overview of the information gathered, as well as feedback on the Kick-Off, can be found here: Community Insights Summary

We had more than 90 people attend the Kick-Off, contributing over 750 unique pieces of data. Our major takeaways from the event include:

  • The importance of bringing people of color and youth from these neighborhoods into the planning process
  • The Benton Park West, Gravois Park and Dutchtown Neighborhoods have strong assets from which to build, especially its diversity and density
  • While many focus areas are interrelated, people continuously expressed the need for strategies that address health and safety, youth and families, and inclusive economic development

Residents have also been mapping the strengths, opportunities and challenges in their neighborhoods. That information is shown in an interactive map; feel free to contribute your opinions: Strength, Opportunities, Challenges Map

Another component of this process is compiling data on the planning area. During the Kick Off, we set up a “Data Dig” activity, where participants could study some information on the neighborhoods and provide feedback. We have summarized that activity, and its responses, here: Neighborhood Data

Thank you again to all those who have participated in this process thus far — the response from the community has been fantastic, and we look forward to continuing our work together. See you at the first Public Working Meeting!

Have any questions or feedback? You can always contact us!