Since we formed in late 2017, our primary mission has been to address the social and civic challenges facing Lakewood and the region. As a continuation of that mission, we engaged the National Charrette Institute (NCI) and the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) to help form a collaborative process for fostering a shared blueprint for working towards a bright future for residents of Lakewood and the surrounding towns.
NCI and CBI interviewed 90 people over four days in February, trying to understand the challenges facing the region – and how to move forward. As a conclusion of their extensive process, they found that bias, in particular anti-Semitism; the challenges of adapting to cultural differences, population growth, and demographic changes, and the challenge of accommodating differing needs and visions in land use were the primary themes brought up by interviewees. They’ve suggested four ways to move forward:
- Refine Lakewood Neighbors for greater purpose, structure, and representation;
- Promote relationship-building groups;
- Develop a shared community coexistence action plan; and
- Take a regional approach to land use.