Build on what's good to make your community better
This information was taken from: http://www.pps.org/info/newsletter/august2007/build_on_whats_good
Even the most hard-hit neighborhoods can draw upon their assets to make improvements. Jody Kretzmann of the ABCD Institute explains how.
The biggest problem in many neighborhoods--especially low-income ones--is caused by perception more than reality. A part of town gets the reputation for being "bad," "tough," or "declining," which is constantly reinforced in the media and local gossip. A negative incident happening there is widely reported as more evidence of "social breakdown," whereas the same thing occurring in a different part of town would be thought of as "an unfortunate event" and quickly forgotten.
Making things worse, many well-intentioned efforts to help these afflicted areas wind up stigmatizing the community even more. The whole focus is on everything that's wrong: bad schools, bad crime, bad housing, bad kids, bad economic opportunities. The people who live there come to feel negative their community and helpless to do anything to change things. It's all just bad. Yet even in the most economically and socially challenged communities, there are a lot of good things going on--and those can be the building blocks to make things better
The Rumford Free Press has posted a number of articles talking about the positive things about our community. These have included a beginning list of some real strengths of our area like its beautiful natural environment, unique and affordable recreational opportunities, quality schools and wonderful friendly people. We'd like to hear from you what the best part of living in this community is and your ideas about how to make it better.
We’ve had some ideas before, like the 100 ways to improve Rumford. Let’s expand this t the entire area. After all, we are all in this together.
- Number of posts : 356
Registration date : 2008-05-24
The River Valley area has a lot going for it if we could only take advantage of it. Maybe some good photo op places for the shutter bugs would encourage tourists to stop. A great coffee shop conveniently placed on Route 2 with attractive sidewalks encouraging people to stretch their legs and visit local shops.
When are you opening it??xmashen wrote:How about a snack/coffee cart at the information booth, with a few picnic tables (oh, if only they could also make lobster rolls!)
Everyone has good ideas, but nobody does anything about it. What are you doing to make your suggestion a reality?
The sad thing is, it takes money to make money. The taxpayers don't want to spend any money and the simpler less costly plans aren't suggested by the right people to the right people. The money we are spending (in my opinion) is being spent places that the people we want to attract will likely never see. My god, think about if all the money that went into the business park was spent along route 2 and adjoining streets that can be seen from there. We could have made Rumford look pretty attractive to those passing through, maybe even made them feel this was a nice spot to stop and spend some money. Maybe even attracted new businesses who would think Rt. 2 was a great and attractive location. We've got to attract the tourists. We need to think like a tourist when we're deciding where best to spend the money allotted for ED.
I totally agree, C, having somewhat of a tourist mentality myself when i visit. There is so much scenic beauty in the place, yet nothing really to make anyone stop. One thought i had , way back on another forum, was this. The area has tons of antique shops and barns, but they are scattered all over the place and not easy for non-locals to find. What if they formed a "co-op" in one or more of the buildings on the island. I know this sounds naive, given the nature of things, but large antique/collectible co-op mart would be a draw and it would also give the individual owners a chance to publicize their main places of business. That island, a developer's DREAM in any other place, is going to waste. I am all for business development, but why not start with the businesses we already have?
I wasn't trying to be cute and I never struck down anything. I merely was making the point that all-words-and-no-action approaches don't amount to anything. For those who really want to see change, there is money and assistance available, you just need to ask. The problem is that everyone complains, but nobody is willing to put action behind their words. I had forgotten that you were posting from outside of the area. However, you could always return to Rumford to start a business.xmashen wrote:cute, kevin, but as you probably know, i don't actually LIVE there, so running the cart might be a bit of a problem from here. it was just a suggestion, just one of many that you will strike down.
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