A local group called VOICE asks what the future of Evansville looks like to you. For over a year they have listened to the community's ideas on how to improve the city. VOICE met with city leaders and community members at the Centre for their 'BAM' session, or, their Big Action Meeting. After hearing opinions, around two hundred people came out to hear how VOICE will use a three step plan to get their ideas into action.
Over the past year the local organization VOICE has listened to the opinions of hundreds around the city on how to make Evansville a better place, now the group puts those plans into action. "They went through a process where they ended up telling us what was good in the city, what they didn't want in the city, what they wanted to leave behind, and what they wanted to carry forward," says Lynn Miller Pease. The organization, Leadership Evansville, came together with Mayor Lloyd Winnecke to create VOICE. After thirty-two of their visioning sessions at local libraries, schools, churches, and community buildings, VOICE listened. Now, they reveal the three step plan to help get those idea into action. "It's really great to see the diversity in there and everyone is co-inhabiting. No one is fighting, or shouting their opinions. We are just sharing them and looking for a vision, not for conflict," Lilly Pease.
A healthy green space, an improved city core, and experiences are the three steps VOICE plans to use to tie all the ideas together. "I think one of the most important things when building a community is listening to the youth," says twelve year old Pease. Since the group was created a year ago, they have done just that. Voice has been to every private and EVSC school to hear what students have to say. "I wish when I was in high school, I went here in Evansville, that someone came to us and said, what do you want to see in the future for Evansville," says Paige Popham. She says hearing the voice of all ages is key to the future of the city. "You see in the City Council meetings a bunch of adult opinions. VOICE is really tackling the younger opinions too, so you can compare the two," adds Popham.
No matter the age, everyone at the sessions have one goal in mind, to make the future of Evansville a bright one for generations to come. "We want to see to it grow into a positive city, and take away the negativity." The next VOICE session will be October 4th at Central Library.