It’s called Imagine Fox Cities, and it’s an initiative created by community members for the community.
“Communities can never stay the same,” said Walter Rugland of Appleton. “They have to either get better or they begin to fail.”
Improving the Fox Cities through public input is the goal of the initiative.
Organizers plan to gather that input through a series of online polls and in-person discussions.
“What we’re hoping for is that we’re going to learn what’s important to our community, and we’re going to learn what issues are there to solve, and what dreams we have for positive change in our community,” Imagine Fox Cities Co-Chair Beth Flaherty said.
Group discussions can be set up through the Imagine Fox Cities website.
Organizers hope those discussions will help bring about change in the community.
“The missing ingredient for us so far has been a platform on which to all agree on where we should be going,” Rugland said, “and that’s what this effort’s all about.”
Imagine Fox Cities hopes to connect with a diverse array of groups in the community, along with the younger generation through group discussions at area high schools.
“People can really feel disconnected with their culture, their community, their politics,” Flaherty said, “and if they want a world for their kids and especially a local community for their kids and grandkids in the future, they might feel really excited to feel listened to.”
Those community members will be “listened to” on a variety of topics.
“We’re talking about jobs, we’re talking about economic development, we’re talking about quality of life, the well being of all of our citizens, the coming together of our municipalities so that we kind together how we should be facing the future,” Rugland said.
There’s no way of knowing exactly what the future will bring, but the people behind Imagine Fox Cities hope that public input will help paint a picture of where the community wants to go.
“We have a road map about the process,” Imagine Fox Cities Co-Chair Mike Weller said. “We don’t have a road map about the final outcomes because we haven’t listened to anybody yet, so we’ve got to listen. That’s what will make this process different.”
To learn more about Imagine Fox Cities or to take the online survey, click here.