A Celebration of Fervent and Collective Action: The New Quality of Life Plan
A prospering area of Indianapolis comprised of 20 neighborhoods, the Near Eastside has cultivated a thorough set of goals written by neighbors, for neighbors. To celebrate the launch and dedication into developing the plan, while adapting to social distancing protocols, the Near Eastside hosted a virtual live Facebook event Tuesday June 16, 2020 with special guest Mayor Joe Hogsett and some community members: Chrissy Peterson – Executive Director of Westminister Neighborhood Services, James Taylor – CEO of JHBC, Ellen Bankston – JHBC Community Builder, and Deb – Spades Park Library Branch Manager and Librarian. During the event, guests briefly discussed the plan’s next steps, seeking to maintain equity, sustainability, economic mobility, and resiliency throughout the entire implementation process. The fervent passion from Eastside residents and leaders that has created collective action into planning the Quality of Life Plan was certainly celebrated this evening. We are thankful for everyone who attended the event. Those who were unable to attend, you can still watch the event here or directly read the plan on the Near Eastside’s website.
The Old and New Quality of Life Plan
The first Quality of Life Plan was drafted and certifed in 2007 and accomplished many accolades such as the IndyEast Promise Zone designation, over 200 affordable housing units, and the Chase Near Eastside Legacy Center, along with many others. In fact, 90% of the plan’s ambitious goals were completed or in progress! While the first plan was significantly successful, the Near Eastside community recognized it needed an update. In addition, the new Quality of Life Plan wanted further inclusivity in the planning process. This was prioritized by implementing coffee shop discussions, resident-led interviews, utilizing existing communication channels through community centers, establishing a community engagement team that traveled door to door gathering input from neighbors around the Near Eastside – all of which ensured all demographics were represented while also allowing more flexibility for neighbors to congregate together during the process. This quantified to over 1000 community surveys and 60 appreciative interviews. The new 2020 plan now encompasses nine focus areas: arts and culture, place-making and infrastructure, sustainability, economic and workforce development, health wellness and family strengthening, equity and engagement, education, safety, and housing. The City of Indianapolis certified the new plan in May 2020.
For those with experience in any of the focus areas of the plan, or who are inspired to participate, and want to join a Community Action Team, go here.