Crossroads Charlotte is trying to pull you and your neighbors into the conversations that will shape our community. Here's its plan: 1) Encourage people like you to gather their friends. 2) Teach you and your friends about how to interact with local government. 3) Initiate conversations about what we really want our policy makers to understand about us, our communities and what we want and need. 4) Share those comments with said policy makers.
All you have to do is gather your friends and register your gathering at GetReal2011.org. Crossroads Charlotte will provide a facilitator and all necessary materials (think hand outs and surveys).
Here's more from the group's website:
What is Get Real 2011?
Get Real 2011 is a way for the community to help guide decisions as Charlotte-Mecklenburg leaders make tough choices in these tough times. This effort is led and managed by Crossroads Charlotte working in collaboration with many Community Partners (listed on this page.)
From February 21 March 11, people all over the community will come together in 2 hours of real talk about our values, choices and budgets and the results will be sent to our elected officials and reported out to everyone in the community!
Get Real 2011 is non-partisan, non-profit and does not endorse or advocate for any viewpoint, policy, group, solution or answer the point is to involve as many people as possible in voicing their views.
Whats Going to Happen Next? Are our leaders going to listen?
The intent is to help leaders make choices and decisions that are based on whats important to the entire community.
Reality check: there are no guarantees about what will happen next. Our elected officials have responded to community voices in the past and have pledged to listen to the outcomes from Get Real 2011, but the real impact will be driven by how many of us participate.
Learn more and find out how you can get involved at GetReal2011.org. And remember, this initiative requires you. Feel like you're not heard in Charlotte? Now's your chance to speak up. Now's your chance to mold the Queen City's future.
Now, allow me to explain my role with Crossroads Charlotte. I'm part of its correspondent team, which means I get paid to write about their events. (Check out the correspondents work here.) In other words, Crossroads Charlotte is one of my clients just like Creative Loafing is one of my clients.
I love writing about the good-news stories the Crossroads correspondents cover -- they offer a great reminder that there are a lot of positive goings on going down in the Q.C., and I'm really hopeful "Get Real" will generate some good news, too. I'm so hopeful that I'm organizing my own neighborhood meeting.
One of the things a Crossroads Charlotte facilitator will bring to your gathering is a copy of the Crossroad movies. If you haven't seen them, you can watch all four here. Each offer a different glimpse at what Charlotte may look like in a few years.
Here's the trailer for the movie series, which premiered in 2009.
Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.
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