October 7, 2015

Community Participation

Behind a successful community are a good group of leaders. There are several ways in which we encourage community participation throughout the community development planning process. These include:

Strong Community Participation Can Ensure the Success of any Community Plan

Strong Community Participation Can Ensure the Success of any Community Plan

The Winning Communities Steering Committee

Every Winning Communities project includes a dedicated steering committee. This team, made up of 6 to 12 volunteer citizens and leaders within the community, forms at the onset of the project. Through cooperation with Winning Communities, the steering committee helps direct and coordinate the entire vision and action planning process.

Steering Committee Responsibilities:

  • Representing the community in public statements and to the media
  • Providing leadership in a fair and non-partisan way
  • Attending and participating in regular steering committee and community-wide meetings
  • Communicating and soliciting the community’s interest and participation in the planning process
  • Helping to develop the community’s vision, mission and goals
  • Nominating and coordinating community action teams
  • Encouraging consensus and a commitment to action within the community

Only with strong leadership behind the community can the success of the Winning Communities process and the future success of the community become realities.

Community Meetings:

community participation, community planning, community plans

Team of Leaders in Pulaski County, Indiana discussing their community's future

After the Winning Communities steering committee has formed to lay the foundation for the community planning process, a series of four community meetings take place. The purpose of these meetings is to gather as much input as possible from the community at large so that the vision and action plan best reflects the needs and aspirations of the community.

During these strategic planning sessions, the community will have the opportunity to analyze what it is now and what it could become in the future. In addition, the community meetings are purposeful as well as inspirational. In an open and collaborative way, citizens will have a chance to:

  • Explore the assets, challenges and opportunities of their community
  • Analyze current trends and their impact on the community
  • Define the community’s culture
  • Develop a mission and vision for the community
  • Generate specific ideas and objectives for changing and improving the community
  • Brainstorm action plans, including timetables and resources for achieving the community’s objectives

The details, ideas and inspirations generated from the community meetings are the main fodder for the community vision and action plan, making community participation of vital importance to the success of the project.

Ready to get started? Contact Winning Communities to learn more about the community planning process, or explore:

Next: Community Vision and Mission