The David Mathews Center for Civic Life (DMCCL), based in Montevallo, Alabama, has launched an ambitious project to help residents of the state take stock of how well their communities are working for them; where people would like to see their communities be in the future; and how they might get there. Titled, What's Next, Alabama? a recent DMCCL newsletter described pilot activities leading up to the initiative:
In preparation for our 2017-19 AIF initiative, What's Next, Alabama? Mathews Center staff is piloting this new approach in Cullman, Alabama. Our second of three public forums is scheduled for October 25. The community will ask itself "Where do we want to go from here?" as they uncover common ground for economic, community, and workforce development. From local news source Cullman Tribune, read about the first forum, focused on answering the questions "Where are we now, and who else should be at the table?
The following excerpt is from a more complete description of the initiative:
The David Mathews Center for Civic Life (DMC) is gearing up for its most ambitious forum series to date; throughout 2017 and 2018, we will launch our first-ever two-year Alabama Issues Forums (AIF) series entitled, “What’s Next, Alabama?” AIF is a series of community forums across the state that is designed to help Alabamians talk through issues, rather than just about issues. AIF provides citizens with an opportunity to come together and address an issue of local concern through public deliberation.
The issue at hand our upcoming AIF series will be focused on the hyper-local geography of prosperity and, with an eye toward the future, will urge each community to frame its own assets and challenges in order to intimately imagine new futures for the community by asking the question: What’s Next?...