Strategic Focus: Develop community-supported strategic policies, to make sure that Longmont can continue to be a great place to live both now and into the future as it approaches build-out within its planning boundaries.
Project Brand: Focus on Longmont
Corporation for Positive Change Services: We designed and facilitated an 18-month process that would enable city residents, Council and staff to “Share Your Vision, Create Our Legacy.” Key milestones included:
- Thirty-four (34) people, representing a broad range of stakeholder groups (community leaders, citizens of all ages and cultural backgrounds, elected officials, city staff, etc.) met for two days to select affirmative topics, draft an appreciative interview guide, and launch a four-month period of outreach and inquiry.
- Constructively engaged broad, diverse local and regional participants through one-on-one interviews and a series of 15 three-hour, locally hosted group inquiry sessions.
- 150 people participated in an Appreciative Inquiry Summit. This multilingual gathering forged new partnerships and stimulated ongoing engagement, while articulating strengths and developing a strategic vision.
- Created a common language, shared vision and collective pride among diverse stakeholder groups with a wide-range of perspectives on community issues
- Built energy and momentum for a series of choice-making sessions, which ultimately resulted in articulation of a broadly supported strategic plan, including five strategic policy directions and measures that continue to guide City Council in setting direction for the city, more than five years later.
- The network of engaged citizens continued to grow
- Focus on Longmont engagement processes were refined and continuously re-applied to ongoing community challenges, including:
- Economic vitality
- Immigrant integration
- Public safety taxes
- Environmental planning
- Strategic planning efforts within numerous city departments
- The city has continued to build the capacity of its staff to plan and facilitate a wide range of community involvement efforts
- The initiative received the International Association for Public Participation’s Core Values Project of the Year Award in 2006. Key accomplishments noted in this award were:
- Commitment to improved community engagement
- Boldness in innovation
- Organizational transformation
- Whole system involvement
- Lasting effect
Testimonial: “Focus on Longmont exceeded all of our expectations. It has become the driving force for the future of Longmont. We couldn’t have imagined the way the initiative has galvanized energy around Longmont’s sustainable future.”
Karen Roney, Director of Community Services
City of Longmont, CO