Better Education, Better Jobs: Developing Rockford's Vision

Apr 1, 2014

Members of the group Transform Rockford warned it wasn’t going to be a quick and easy process. After months of community meetings, volunteers will start assembling a draft vision for the city tonight. 

Transform Rockford's final "visioning" session at Rock Valley College.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

  Monday night at Rock Valley College, about 40 people spent two hours “visioning” their ideal city, in the last of dozens of such meetings. Retired teacher Jacque Bolger says in their discussions, she heard one priority above all else:

I would say education. Access to quality education in which accountability is shared by everybody.

Anqunette Parham has helped run a number of the visioning meetings: she says it’s true, better education and better jobs were almost always at the top of the list:

Which just kind of speaks to the heart of the matter in terms of what this community needs and what people from all walks of life, all areas of town, all segments of the community. What we all know is necessary to move forward in this community.

Bolger says she wanted to be part of the process because after 40 years in Rockford, she wants to continue to be excited about living there:

I love being in Rockford and I want to make sure that Rockford is here for my children and grandchildren to come to and enjoy.

A small group of Transform Rockford volunteers will get together this evening at Coronado Corners in downtown Rockford to start the process of drawing up a draft vision. They’ll use notes and comments from all of the public meetings and their website. Those meetings are also open to the public and organizers expect this phase to take several weeks.