“Waging a Living” Forum
Approximately 100 people participated in the “Waging a Living” forum on August 28 at the Settle Memorial United Methodist Church annex. The forum was organized by the Coalition for the Poor in conjunction with numerous community organizations.
Following a presentation of a PBS documentary, participants examined separate case studies of low-wage earners struggling to make ends meet: a security guard, a single mother and full-time college student, and a nursing assistant. In small group discussions, forum participants explored individual and systemic responsibilities, challenges and possible solutions to improve conditions and prospects for these struggling individuals and families.
Most of the forum participants concluded…
More than two dozen strategies were suggested or supported. Forty-five participants expressed an interest in working on federal or state policy or local initiatives.
Even though there is not an agreement on how to achieve goals, acknowledgement of the problem by elected officials, community leaders and the public represents important progress.
Forum results were sent to forum participants, elected officials, social and health care agency officials, community leaders and the media.
Forum on Coal-Burning Power Plants
Results of the questionnaire completed by participants at the August 22 forum on coal-fired power plants (summarized in our September edition) were sent to officials with state regulatory agencies, elected officials, utility executives, business and economic development specialists, union leaders, environmental science researchers, media and others.
As of this printing, there have been no responses.
Immigration Forum: Participants favor holding off on reform until legislative flaws can be corrected
Approximately 40 people attended the Unity Coalition’s September 21 forum on proposed immigration reform legislation. The forum featured a debate between Todd Inman (representing the U.S. House of Representatives proposal) and Hervey Howell (representing the Senate version). Following the debate, forum participants engaged in small group discussions and were asked to reach a compromise as if they were members of a joint House-Senate Conference Committee.
Discussions at five tables resulted in the following:
Youth share ideas at riverfront forum
Eleven local youth participated in a forum on the downtown riverfront on July 20 at the Public Life Foundation. Following a review of the proposed Riverfront Master Plan, participants shared impressions about the private sector additions that would effectively complement the public sector investments included in the master plan.
Recommendations included quality restaurants with river views, specialty retail shops (bakeries, coffee shops, candy stores, ice cream parlors, flower shops, and clothing stores) and an entertainment complex (bowling alley, movie theater, nightclubs, indoor go-kart track, and laser tag).
The youth expressed concern over the appearance of downtown. They support architectural standards and new buildings to be consistent with historic buildings. They want downtown Owensboro to be unique, with features such as cobblestone streets and period light fixtures. And they encourage plans to provide for year round attractions.
A summary of the forum was sent to local elected officials, riverfront planners and designers. As a result, Owensboro City Manager Bob Whitmer invited Sarah Wood, forum moderator, to serve on the citizen advisory committee for the riverfront.