Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Presentation at the Inland Northwest Partners 2009 Fall Meeting

The meeting was held at the Coeur d' Alene Casino Resort Hotel on September 24, 2009

The theme of the event was "Revitalizing Your Community through Planning, Participation & Partnerships". The topic of discussion was economic development around the globe and in the Pacific Northwest.

The keynote speaker was David Beurle from Australia, who invented the "Future Games" and presented it to the audience. Note: several WSU Extension staff and Horizons program participants (including Nan Konishi from Rosalia and Rockford's Micki Harnois) have been trained to present this great "poverty reduction" tool to Horizon members.

Three Horizon communities gave presentations on the projects that the Northwest Area Foundation brought to their residents. These include Bonners Ferry, Northport, and the Coeur d' Alene Reservation.

Micki Harnois gave a glimpse into what is happening with the Rockford Horizons program from its introduction one year ago. She discussed the three areas of emphasis from the Strategic Plan. Horizon Leaders Mary Lou Benson, Vivian Plank and Keith Wigen also attended.

Report Out Meeting

The report out event was held on September 10th in the Rockford City Park. About forty people were in attendance including 10 youth from the community. A delicious BBQ pulled pork meal was catered by Fredneck's Saloon & Beanery. A special award was given to Keith Wigen for all his work and expertise with the three community gardens.

The Strategic Action Plan Worksheet was finalized and introduced to the community by the Horizons Leadership Team.

The Rockford Community Center project is close to receiving 501c3 non-profit status. A few small items are needed by the state to complete this.

The administrator of the blog will be keeping it up to date.

Regular meetings are held on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday at 6:30pm in the Harvest Moon Restaurant.

Please Come!

Poverty Action's Vote Campaign

Taking it to the Streets in 2009
Poverty Action Vote Campaign is Back

This fall Poverty Action is hitting the streets to register newly eligible voters.

We hope you'll join us as we pound the pavement across the state. For more details or to get involved, check out the Poverty Action website or contact Poverty Action organizer Kate Baber.

Building Assets, Strengthening Communities
Join us November 5 and 6, 2009 at the Tacoma Convention Center for a conference with the Washington State Asset Building Coalition.

Register Today:

It is important for individuals and families to have access to asset building and financial planning in order to move out of poverty. Poverty Action and the Asset Building Coalition have led the charge in asset building advocacy, passing and funding the Individual Development Account program in 2005 and the Working Families Rebate in 2008. We are excited to announce the Survive and Thrive: Building Assets, Strengthening Communities conference, the largest statewide gathering around asset building. This conference is dedicated to helping improve the financial lives of low and moderate income Washingtonians--promoting financial education, home ownership, savings and smart borrowing.

Asset building strategies include:
-Increasing financial education, savings and individual development accounts
-Expanding home and small business ownership
-Increasing the availability of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and free tax prep
-Providing programs to assist in credit repair and avoiding high-cost loans

Why join this conference?
-Weigh in about how asset building could help improve your financial situation
-Plan ways to expand financial opportunities for people with lower incomes
-Meet fellow state and national leaders as we learn together about the growing field of asset building
-Join the largest statewide gathering around asset development

Register Today:
The Survive and Thrive: Building Assets,Strengthening Communities conference on November 5th & 6th will inspire and educate you to start or expand an asset-building initiative in your community.

Scholarships available:
To apply, please send a paragraph describing why you need a scholarship to

Strengthen your voice in the state capitol. Making change depends on you. Poverty Action works to eliminate the root causes of poverty with real solutions. As the state's largest anti-poverty organization working to influence decisions in Olympia, we work to ensure everyone can have a better future. Become a member today and help us continue to achieve crucial victories.

Rockford Horizons Poverty Reduction Project

On Tuesday, June 23rd twenty-three Rockford residents and interested persons gathered at the Rockford City Park to develop a long-range poverty reduction plan for the Horizons project. Horizons is a project of the Northwest Area Foundation in partnership with WSU Extension. Below is a very brief summary of that Visioning Session and our proposed action strategies. Their success is entirely dependent upon your direct involvement. Please join us as we move forward toward implement.

As a requirement of the Foundation and the program, the Horizons Leadership Group kicked-off the planning process by conducting a community-wide survey during May. That information was tabulated and brought forward at our June 23rd Visioning session. During that session, participants were asked to identify the best possible poverty reduction strategies in three areas: individual asset development, community capacity and public policy. A total of 10 strategies were evaluated, voted upon and prioritized. The final step involved the Leadership Group identifying those that were most likely to succeed and then organized them into either short-term, intermediate term or long-term for purposes of implementation.

Plan Content
The months of July and August were spent by Horizons volunteers organizing these strategies, writing them up into a Strategic Action Plan, of which this is the Summary, and then sharing and promoting them. As mentioned above, here are the Rockford Horizons Poverty Reduction Strategies;

Short-Term (2009-2010):
-Grow a flourishing community garden
-Improved nutrition and food quality in the community
-Create/update Community Calendar
-Identify wireless/broadband customer base
-Create community access center
-Sponsor venues to show what town wants and will support
through a "floating" center
-Create the Rock Creek Internet Cafe

Intermediate-Term (2010-2011):
-Educate people to use garden produce in nutritious and
affordable ways and to preserve the surplus
-Create/expand town website
-Identify wireless/broadband suppliers
-Keep Horizons Blog up-to-date

Long-Term (2011-2012):
-Grow surplus food to be given to area food bank to help others
and to sell at Farmers Market
-Negotiate a mutually agreeable broadband/wireless contract
-Create a town placemat
-Plan, finance, build/buy our own community center building

As you can see, many of these strategies are ongoing and
need to be monitored and evaluated for success. Most also require meaningful partnerships with other community/county groups and organizations. As a living document, this plan should be reviewed annually and strategies reprioritized.

Next Steps
Now that we have an adopted Strategic Action Plan we need to recruit volunteers and begin implementing it. To support our efforts, the Northwest Area Foundation will make a direct financial investment and WSU Extension will help design necessary training and techinical assistance input.
In order for Rockford to successfully secure a remaining $3,000 training grant along with an additional $10,000 project grant, we need your active support and involvement. And now!
So we need your help! Please consider which of these action projects excite you and how you'd like to help make it a reality. Please contact Todd (at 291-4601), MaryLou at (291-3146), Vivian (at 291-3722) or Micki (at 291-3621) if you'd like to volunteer OR attend any of our monthly meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays beginning at 6:30pm at the Harvest Moon Restaurant.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Horizons Leadership Team Meeting
We are meeting Tuesday evening in the back room of the Harvest Moon Restaurant at 6:30 pm.Everyone from Rockford and the surrounding area are welcome to attend. Please get involved with our Horizon's program. We are recruiting new members for the Leadership Team. If you would like to have a voice and gain greater understanding about our Horizon's program, please attend. We have monies for elder and child care available if needed. A light meal will be provided. Please contact Todd at (509) 291-4601 for more information.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stategic Poverty Reduction Plan (2009-2012)

The following is a summary of the visioning sessions which identify the strategies that were most likely to succeed.

Short Term (2009-2010)
Grow a flourishing community garden
Improved nutrition and food quality in the community
Create/update community calendar
Identify wireless/broadband customer base
Create community access center
Sponsor venues to show what town wants and will support through a
"floating" center
Create the Rock Creek Internet Cafe

Intermediate Term (2010-2011)
Educate people to use garden produce in nutritious and affordable ways and to
preserve the surplus
Create/expand town website
Identify wireless/broadband suppliers
Keep Horizons Blog up-to-date

Long Term (2011-2012)
Grow surplus food to be given to area food bank to help others and for
sale at Farmers Market
Negotiate a mutually agreeable boradband/wireless contract
Create a town placemat
Plan, finance, build/buy our own community center building

Community BBQ was a Big Success

The Horizons Community BBQ that was held in the Park on September 10th was attended by over 40 residents. All ages were represented and the food was great! Pete Abbey, manager of Fredneck's Beanery & Saloon (a local business) catered the event and served yummy pulled pork, coleslaw, beans and cornbread. Nobody went away hungry!
The Horizons team presented a brief summary of the proposed Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan and received valuable comments and additions from those in attendance. This information will all be evaluated in developing the long-range plan.

Southeast Spokane County Fair coming soon!

This weekend, September 25th through 27th is the Southeast Spokane County Fair in Rockford. It is a smaller country fair with all the activities and attractions of the larger fairs but with a hometown feel. There will be great entertainment, food sold by local nonprofit organizations, a carnival, animals, a parade, horse show and other fun events. Please go to the Fair for more information. The admission is free!