June 12 Public Kick Off Meeting Summary: Let’s Talk about Taos!
Thank you to everyone who attended the June 12th Strong at Heart kick off event. This event was organized to begin a community dialogue around values and creating a vision to guide future development and investment in the downtown. Nearly 300 community members came together to participate in activities that identified concerns, community assets, and hopes for the future.
You provided much for us to think about—both in terms of your viewpoints about town itself and in terms of how we can work best with you—and we are taking the time adjust and improve, which we will cover in a future update. But for now, this update focuses on providing a summary of the kickoff event.
Kickoff Event Summary
The evening began with an open house format to allow participants to mingle with their neighbors. Posters hung around the room invited people to respond to a series of questions, which were:
- What are our concerns for the future?
- What are our hopes for the future?
- How do you think our local economy is doing?
- How are we doing working together as a community?
- How are we doing with community support?
Following the open house, officials from the Town of Taos opened the meeting by sharing their thoughts about why this project is important for Taos. The town is seeing increasing growth pressures and community concern over growth, but also has the opportunity to build on recent successes of other community planning efforts. After this brief introduction, the town introduced Community Builders, who facilitated the remainder of the meeting. Click here to learn more about Community Builders role in this project.
Following a presentation about the project, available here, community members broke into small groups to discuss the following questions:
- What are our concerns?
- What challenges do we face?
- What are our strengths as a community?
- What are our greatest opportunities to become a thriving community?
The feedback and input collected from the posters and group discussion can be found here.
The input from the kick off event will be integrated with all the other community input collected over the summer, which is currently on-going. We are continuing to organize pop ups and installations, and organize meetings with community groups to gather feedback. We will prepare (and distribute) a complete community input summary that pulls together the common themes from all of the different engagement activities before we move into the next phase of the project towards the end of August.
The Strong at Heart project will continue to collect community input during the months of July and August to inform the development of shared community values and a vision for the downtown. If you were unable to participate in the kick off event, there are many ways still to participate. Please visit: http://www.downtowntaos.com/participate/ to learn about these opportunities and to share your thoughts.
If you want to be informed of upcoming community involvement activities, sign up for our email blast or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, found at the bottom of each website page. http://www.downtowntaos.com/contact-us/