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“What’s next, Alabama?” Forums to improve Chambers County

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By Ken McMillan
Chambers County
Extension Coordinator

“What’s Next, Alabama?” Forums to Improve Chambers County

Have you ever noticed something that could improve our quality of life in Chambers County? Well, here’s your opportunity! Chambers Extension, Southern Union State Community College – Valley Campus (SUSCC), and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life (DMC) are hosting a “What’s Next, Chambers?” series of forums in which participants can gather and discuss their community’s economic past, present, and future.

All forums will be held at SUSCC (321 Fob James Drive, Valley) starting at 11:00 A.M. Eastern. The first forum (March 7th) asks, “Where are we now? What assets do we have in our community? What is working and what isn’t working?” There is no cost to attend. The DMC is graciously providing lunch.

The second forum (March 14th) asks, “Where do we want to go? What do we want to change about our community? What do we want to preserve?” The third forum (March 21st) asks, “How do we get there? How can we move from talk to action?” We will have separate announcements and RSVPs for the second and third forums.

To help us prepare for the first forum and ensure all inputs are considered, please complete the short, anonymous Survey at https://auburn.qualtrics.com (estimated completion time is 10 minutes).
While the forum series is centered loosely on topics of economic and workforce development, each community is able to define the topic in ways that make it relevant for them locally. Any issue that affects a community’s quality of life is fair game for discussion. “What’s Next, Chambers” encourages us to reflect on the assets we already have in order to leverage these assets to address local challenges, before making a plan for action.

The forums were first held in Cullman County (Fall 2016). The forums helped Cullman County residents identify and address salient community issues (see http://www.cullmansense.com/articles/2016/12/07/talk-action-what-s-next-cullman ). Out of 67 Alabama Counties, Chambers County was selected to hold the next series of forums – this is a great opportunity to improve our Chambers County quality of life!!! Please RSVP, take the short Survey, and join your neighbors at the first forum March 7th.

As a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening civic life in Alabama, the DMC will facilitate and moderate the three deliberative forums designed to give Chambers County residents the opportunity to have productive and respectful conversations about local issues. Adults and youth of all ages are welcome. DMC and forum details are available at http://mathewscenter.org/event/whats-next-chambers-county-1/

If you have any questions, please call the Chambers County Extension office at (334) 864-9373. Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Everyone is welcome!