We would like to take this opportunity to update you on our exploratory work to establish a community investment fund. Since our meeting in November, we undertook – with able guidance from Tonya Graham – a “Done in a Day” strategic planning exercise to articulate …
Author: Stephen Sloan
In the wake of Covid-19 and recent wildfires in our valley, our first cohort of ten students has been working to meet the essential needs of our community and create new local jobs. In the process, the students have been diving into their own humane …
This term 10 interns worked on six projects to support fire relief and capacity building within our organization.
Post Almeda Fire Community Rebuild Opportunities
Interns: Jesse Jo, Karina, Kadyn, Makayla
Clients: Linda Tetreault
The original objective of this project was to create land asset maps of possible rebuild sites by compiling public record information and inputs from the affected community.
As it became clear that available land was not immediately suitable for rebuilding, the focus of this project pivoted to a three-pointed study. Interns have researched the current assets of the town of Talent– including its long range plan, emergency declarations, local housing solution initiatives, grassroots organizations, and potential buildable land sites. They have also researched other fire affected areas and their rebuild efforts, as well as other temporary and long-term low income housing solutions from across the country. Their synthesis of how various solutions might serve the needs of the fire-affected community in Talent, and a presentation of those scenarios and recommendations, is the culmination of their project.
Team’s Showcase Video
Community Listening Session Learnings
Intern: Aileen, Jorge, Karina
Client: Local Innovation Works
Knowing that input from the largely Latino community of fire-displaced people would be critical in rebuilding the Rogue Valley, we partnered with My Valley My Home to participate in their community listening circles. Because the leadership of that organization was somewhat slow to gel, their listening circles were slow to materialize, and we opted to join intern Karina Medina’s involvement with the Northwest Seasonal Workers Association. This group of interns attended weekly meetings of 30 to 50 members, listening to their collective experiences, concerns, and ideas around the rebuild. Many of the members shared their frustrations with FEMA, the Red Cross, and their landlords, and the interns’ reports to our group about their learnings informed the efforts of all our other projects. We have also reached out to representatives from Unete and the Zone Captain group organized by Remake Talent to further our collaboration with those displaced by the Almeda fire.
Aileen’s Showcase Video
Karina’s Showcase Video
Development Research and Administration
Client: Julie O’Dwyer of My Valley My Home and Local Innovation Works
This massive undertaking has included the research of funding sources and the creation of a list of potential donors and supporters of LIW and MVMH, researching grant opportunities and developing granting schedules for both organizations, developing preliminary program budgets, and developing preliminary grant application template information.
Tina’s Showcase Video
Community Investment Fund
Client: Bob Kaplan, Local Innovation Works
A community investment fund is a new concept for us in the Rogue Valley, and a possible way to provide seed funds to local innovations that meet community needs and create jobs. This project involved researching already established community funds as well as preparing our community for a presentation of and community wide conversations about establishing such a fund.
Cassandra’s Showcase Video
Marketing – Website/Video
Client: Stephen Sloan and Ellie Holty of LIW
This project provides marketing support for LIW by creating promotional video, updating website content. You can see his video work here. And webpages he built here and here.
Grayson’s Showcase Video
Opportunities for Job Creation and Needs
Clients: Stephen Sloan & Julie O’Dwyer of Local Innovation Works
This pivotal project has ensured the continued success of the Local Innovation Lab program. The objective was to contact nonprofits and businesses in the community who could possibly create new jobs and expand their services with the help of one of our interns. Haylee not only made LIW some great partnerships and internship clients, but identified a number of organizations with immediate needs for new hires that we could support with our network in the Winter term of 2021.
Haylee’s Showcase Video
Download the PulsePoint app. We follow both Jackson County Fire District #5 and Ashland Fire & Rescue. RyanWeather.com on Facebook. Focused on weather forecasting and climatology within Southern Oregon and Northern California. He also provides updates on local and regional wildfires during the summer months. …
As the November election approaches, we face a choice of tracks to travel toward our shared future. In this important moment, we wanted to contribute to the community’s consideration of candidates. We believe that the agenda-setting and convening power of the mayor is crucial as we face a variety of important decisions in the coming months.
Our concerns about this election
- Our situation as a community is difficult and complex.
- Civic discourse as a shared search for common ground, sense, and solutions needs to regain momentum.
- Leadership can make a difference.
- Conversations in community will likely yield better solutions than a few dedicated staffers and folks voting in the council chambers can create.
- Understanding what candidates value and how they think is crucial in these fast-moving, unpredictable times.
Try reinvigorating civic discourse with an experiment in one small town mayoral race. This experiment is to give the candidates space to reveal:
- Who they are
- What they value
- What they see as the key issues
- How they think
- How they will host the community conversations required to prioritize our values, cocreate solutions, and organize actions.
Interview each candidate separately on Zoom to give them space to reveal themselves in the openings questions create for them. Keep commentary to a minimum.
Release the two unedited videos at the same time so that no one can have an advantage by knowing the other person’s answers.
- What do you see as the values of this community?
- What are your values as they relate to the communities values?
- How are those values revealed in your daily life?
- How do you see Ashland succeeding in the future?
- What other cities do you think Ashland could learn from?
- What have you learned about leading Ashland in the last year?
- How do you study issues and arrive at priorities?
- What are the key issues that the community should address in the next few years?
- What are the policy trade-offs, the competing values built into these issues?
- What is your plan for helping the community to discuss and decide about how to balance those tensions?
Note, the candidates were free to answer each question to their own satisfaction. I tried to be encouraging with minor feedback; humans need that to feel comfortable. I also tried to avoid follow up questions to keep the playing field even. The videos are different lengths because the candidates each chose to answer the questions in their own ways.
I hope that you will find the candidates as interesting and engaging as I did.
Thanks to Julie and Tonya for participating.
Thank you for taking the time to understand the mayoral candidates a bit better.
|1. What do you see as the values of this community?||Julie 1||Tonya 1|
|2. What are your values as they relate to the communities values?||Julie 2||Tonya 2|
|3. How are those values revealed in your daily life?||Julie 3||Tonya 3|
|4. How do you see Ashland succeeding in the future?||Julie 4||Tonya 4|
|5. What other cities do you think Ashland could learn from?||Julie 5||Tonya 5|
|6. What have you learned about leading Ashland in the last year?||Julie 6||Tonya 6|
|7. How do you study issues and arrive at priorities?||Julie 7||Tonya 7|
|8. What are the key issues that the community should address in the next few years?||Julie 8||Tonya 8|
|9. What are the policy trade-offs, the competing values built into these issues?||Julie 9||Tonya 9|
|10. What is your plan for helping the community to discuss and decide about how to balance those tensions?||Julie 10||Tonya 10|
Julie Akins – website
Tonya Graham – website
Reach out if you would like to support this same process for other races or if you have other ideas for building our community.