The following ideas emerged from a two-day conference in 2012 outlining a vision for Brown County in 2020.
By the year 2020, our vision is that: We are working together to build our community by overcoming political, cultural, social and economic divisions.
Following are details of the vision:
There are more people running for office and fewer uncontested races.
Our political representation has improved through term limits, and at-large representation has been explored to encourage new ideas, new interests and change. As a result, community members report greater trust in local government representatives and believe that, as voters, they have influence and impact in local government development.
Qualified candidates are recruited to run for public office.
Effective politicians who exhibit proper decorum and mutual trust are being elected.
Effective politicians who respect others, show bipartisan engagement with one another and with their constituents, demonstrate a commitment to the common good and represent the interests of the community ahead of their own self interest are being elected.
Those we elect have demonstrated leadership skills and an understanding of their constituents needs, issues and concerns. They acquire this through an Academy for Candidates, immersion experiences and acquainting themselves with regional data such as the LIFE Study.
There is broad, political representation that matches the demographic and cultural makeup of the community and its mindset.
Community members of diverse backgrounds are running for office and community members report a positive impact through diversity and inclusiveness.
We are focused on collaboration and avoid polarization.
Respect and gratitude are the operating principles of local government.
Our neighborhoods are cohesive, engaged and inclusive of all.
We have neighborhoods that are inclusive in terms of race, age, sexual orientations, incomes, religion, health, disability, diverse backgrounds and ethnicities and are sought-after as places to live and raise a family. They reflect mutual respect among all neighbors, an active engagement with all points of view and are inclusive of all.
These neighborhoods and communities are stewards of the common good, with shared and well-utilized green spaces, and homes of all types and sizes.
They are within easy reach of transportation, affordable recreation opportunities and they are safe for all. They promote a positive perception of diversity.
Through this focus, we have become a diverse community of empowered and engaged citizens of all ages, unified in our quest to influence Brown Countys development. We see ourselves as extended families.
The local media promotes positive neighborhood behavior and positive behavior of politicians and leaders.
We expect our media to create a feeling of influence and impact on local government that we collectively have a voice in what our community should look like.
Celebrations of cultural diversity are promoted.
Ethnic gatherings, fairs, picnics, and heritage celebrations are open to the public.
Concerts and art displays of various cultural heritages are encouraged.
Entertainment opportunities affordable to all are promoted.
Safe gathering places for family entertainment are publicized.
Entertainment which appeals to a variety of ages and cultural backgrounds and provides opportunities for people to socialize is promoted.
We have programs that engage and empower our youth.
We provide our youth with mentoring. We ask them to play an active role in uniting and influencing our community. We foster transformational education programs that develop our children and provide them with interpersonal skills.
Our youth is provided the right jobs at the right wage at the right time.
Opportunities for intergenerational sharing and learning are created.
Healthy foods and lifestyles and a healthy environment for all are promoted.
Distribution of healthy foods is made available to the poor by churches and other nonprofit agencies. Grocery stores providing healthy foods are located in low-income neighborhoods.