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Column: Red Wing 2040 Community Plan draft ready for your review

By Michelle Leise, Community Engagement Specialist

After almost two years of community discussion, outreach, and research, a draft of the Red Wing 2040 Community Plan is ready for your feedback. Copies are available online on the city's website, and hard copies are available at the library and the other locations listed at the end of this article.

The plan is anchored in five principles: Sustainability, Health, Accessibility, Resiliency, and Equity — so all of Red Wing can thrive.

As the plan's introduction says, "The Red Wing 2040 Community Plan is a plan for and by the people who live and work here, and it's now our roadmap to guide us into the future. More than 2,500 people played a small or large role in the plan, and roughly 200 residents have followed the process from beginning to end as Action Team participants. We've asked ourselves where we are now, where we want to go, and how we can get there. We took care not to rush and spent almost two years listening to each other and learning. Throughout the plan's process, we've taken stock of our assets and the individuals, organizations, and systems that make us unique and help drive positive change. We've looked head-on at the areas we need to improve, listened closely to each other, even when we've disagreed, and approached issues from different points of view. We've learned from other places, researched best practices, and brainstormed ideas that might work for us here. At this moment in time, we have captured what we know and what we aspire to be."

Chapter 2 outlines the entire process of working with the people of Red Wing to make sure this is a plan that reflects the full community's goals for the future. To learn more about that community involvement, I encourage you to read over the pages of Chapter 2, and look at the Acknowledgements section to get a sense of the breath of people and organizations involved with the plan.

Its use

How will the Red Wing 2040 Community Plan be used?

"This plan will not stay hidden in a drawer; nor will it be relegated to the confines of government. We as people in all areas of community life — businesses, nonprofits, governments, schools, organizations — will use this plan in ways large and small. Its role is to remind us what our visions are, what people said was important, what needs are critical, and what our assets and gaps are. It will steer how we prioritize our goals, how we make short-and long-term decisions, and how we want to spend our time and resources." Here are a few other ways people can use the plan:

• As a guide to decision-making. All of us, including nonprofits, schools, businesses, other governments, civic organizations, volunteer groups, and other partners can use the plan as a reference and guide when putting together our individual strategic and action plans so we know we're in alignment with the community's wishes.

• A tool for partnerships and investment. The Red Wing 2040 Community Plan can help solidify the support needed to mobilize the community; it can be promoted to the state, region, and anyone else interested in investing in the community; and it can be an important tool for anyone applying for grant funding.

• A collective "to-do" list. The plan is a way for groups and people to come together around common goals and work together to achieve them.

The plan will be available until mid-January for everyone to read over and give comments and suggestions. On the city's website, you'll find an email address that provides a quick and easy way to give input. Go to www.red-wing.org/354/Red-Wing-2040. Hard copies will be at the Red Wing Public Library, Pier 55 Senior Center, Hispanic Outreach, United Way, the Y, and Jordan Towers. If you have questions, please call 651-385-3618.

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