Econ Avenue Enewsletter

May 28, 2014


Economic Avenue is a grassroots led community economic development program taking place in Northeast Kansas City, Kan.

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The program puts the power to create change in the hands of the community by forming a local leadership council of residents, neighborhood leaders, nonprofit leaders, church leaders and business owners, who will ultimately be responsible for managing the program. Each month we meet with community leaders to discuss the EconAvenue Initiative. Read meeting recaps below.

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It's Time to Build! - May 28, 2014

With your help, we have engaged the Northeast Kansas City, Kan., community, assessed economic and employment conditions and reviewed programs and services that are in place. We have brainstormed ideas to transform the economy, and as a result, the community. More than 200 individuals have participated in some part of Econ Avenue and the community has “shown up!”

It’s time to begin moving from conversation to action. During the next month, we will move from our big three ideas and begin to select the projects that each group will work on.

Now is an exciting time to put our hard work and ideas into action. By this time next year, we should be able to see measurable results from our projects. We need to keep the energy level and commitment high as we do the work. We are excited about the next phase of Econ Avenue.

It’s time to build!

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New Meeting Roles - Oct. 21, 2014

With your help, we have engaged the Northeast Kansas City, Kan., community, assessed economic and employment conditions and reviewed programs and services that are in place. We have brainstormed ideas to transform the economy, and as a result, the community. More than 200 individuals have participated in some part of Econ Avenue and the community has “shown up!”

It’s time to begin moving from conversation to action. During the next month, we will move from our big three ideas and begin to select the projects that each group will work on.

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Facilitator Training, Creative Learning - May 2, 2014

On April 22, Steve Shepelwich from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City led a training for community members interested in learning how to be a group facilitator.  

More than 40 people from Northeast Kansas City, Kan., participated and learned new skills to support Econ Avenue and other community initiatives. The group did creative exercises such as coming up with Econ Avenue logos and jingles.  

Econ Avenue is designed to empower communities through organizing, creating and leading initiatives that increase economic health and well-being in the community.  

As we continue to progress as a team, Econ Avenue will transition from being facilitated by the Federal Reserve to being facilitated by individuals in the community. As we continue on the journey of community empowerment, collaboration and working toward a better future, learning how to work together, listen to each other and learn from each other will make all the difference.

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Dot Democracy - Bringing People Back to the Process - Apr 23, 2014

Econ Avenue’s mission is to give the northeast Kansas City, Kan., community a voice and opportunity to develop programs that will economically empower the community.

In our most recent meeting, one way we did this was through “dot democracy.” After brainstorming in the areas of small business, housing and workforce, we sought a way to narrow the group’s ideas.

 In our February brainstorming session, we created 99 unique ideas on how to build northeast Kansas City, Kan. With our Econ Avenue theme of “maximize impact in the minimum amount of time,” we had to determine how to prioritize those ideas. We selected a process known as nominal group technique, which we call “dot democracy,” for our March 11 meeting.

Dot democracy gave everyone an opportunity to select the ideas they felt were most important, based on the work group they participate in and other groups. After two rounds of voting with colored dot stickers, the community narrowed those 99 ideas to a handful of key ideas to maximize impact.

Econ Avenue is a unique, ongoing community-led initiative that allows the community to make its own decisions. Dot democracy is just one example of how we can give back a voice to the community as we seek to build the economy of northeast Kansas City, Kan.