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All In For Barre: Community Forums to Set Direction for the Future
On August 25, all members of the Barre community are invited to kick off “All In For Barre,” a community process to engage all residents in setting the direction for a vibrant, prosperous, and dynamic future. This process is a practical, pragmatic, and facilitated way for residents to actively participate in reviewing challenges and opportunities facing the community, identify top priorities for action, and develop concrete action plans. This will also be an opportunity to bring both technical and financial resources to Barre to move priorities forward. This first step in the ”All In For Barre” process will be a series of community forums to discuss assets, challenges, and opportunities for action within nine focus forums being held throughout the day. Everyone is invited to join in on Aug. 25 to share your ideas in forums on nine different topics, chosen by a steering committee representing people from varied occupations and parts of town, including substance use disorder; aging, transportation; housing and homelessness; diversity, equity, and inclusion; opportunities in the face of climate change; supporting Barre students and families; recreation, arts, and culture; and addressing empty buildings and downtown vitality. Forums will take place at the Aldrich Public Library, the Barre Opera House, and the Church of the Good Shepherd. For those who are unable to meet in person, an online forum will take place at 7 p.m. The link to join that Zoom forum is available at bit.ly/ForBarre. At 6 p.m., everyone is invited to a free community dinner at the Elks Club. Childcare is available at the library for families attending the library forums. Transportation support is available by reaching out to Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org or by texting or calling 802-272-8418. “All In For Barre” will follow current state guidelines around COVID safety precautions. Masks and distancing are encouraged, and residents will be updated with any changes. Step 2 of ”All In For Barre” will be a community meeting on Sept. 15, when all residents will be invited to champion action ideas, set priorities, and have the option to sign up for task forces to take on each priority initiative. Step 3 in October brings a visiting resource team of Vermont leaders to help support the work of the new task forces with technical and financial resources as they create action plans to move their priorities forward. Renita Marshall, Barre resident and chair of All In For Barre says, ”This process will allow you to generate ideas, share in conversation, and plan for the future of Barre City. So, please join me and your neighbors for facilitated conversations about the topics that are most important to our city and a free community dinner on Aug. 25.” Barre City Mayor Lucas Herring invites everyone to join in the conversation, saying, “Barre City is a blend of heritage and revitalization. Over the past couple of years, we have seen significant changes in the way we live, communicate, and do business. All in for Barre is a forum that gives us all the opportunity to come together and discuss where our community is and what actions are needed to continue moving forward. Please join the conversations on Aug. 25, share your thoughts, and find out actions you can take to help change these ideas into reality!” The process is produced by the Vermont Council on Rural Development, which was invited to the community by the Barre City Council. The Vermont Council on Rural Development is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the advancement of Vermont communities. In the past 20 years, it has worked with over 80 communities throughout Vermont to bring residents together through its facilitated and structured process to share ideas and move toward common solutions. Paul Costello, executive director of Vermont Council on Rural Development , says, “All of us at VCRD (Vermont Council on Rural Development) are excited about working with Barre, a city of great heritage and hard work. It’s all about local leadership! We look forward to the ideas and priorities that will come forward and all the action to follow to drive good work for the future of this dynamic community.”