Community-Wide Response Is Key To "Transform Rockford"

Nov 15, 2013

A growing group of Rockford residents is trying to combat their hometown’s reputation as a “miserable place”…while tackling some of the city’s biggest problems. About a thousand people showed up in the Coronado Theater last night for “Transform Rockford’s” first public meeting.


They’re  trying to get the community involved in creating an action plan to tackle the city’s problems with crime, health, and poverty. LoRayne Logan is working to get more people involved with the group. She says it’s different from past attempts to change the city:

It is not someone looking at us and telling us about ourselves. It is us talking and sharing about us among ourselves. And thinking together from our own individual brilliance and experience about what we can do to be a different region.

The group of residents behind “Transform Rockford” is trying to get others involved very early in what they say will be a long process. Rockford native David Sidney co-chairs the group’s “Shared Values” committee.

Our goal is not to come up with the solution, but our goal is to get to tonight, and what does that look like. Community engagement is so important, and it has to be real, it has to be very transparent. It’s messy.

So far, they’ve identified the need for serious changes and some of the shared values driving the effort. Those include respect, inclusion, transparency, and responsibility. They collected comments and ideas from the crowd and will follow up at a public meeting December 14th .

Shared Values

Founding members and a follow-up committee drew up a draft list of nine shared values they need the community to buy into for the "transformation" to proceed:

  1. Inclusion
  2. Caring
  3. Respect
  4. Transparency
  5. Trustworthiness
  6. Consensus
  7. Ideation (balancing brainstorms with decision-making)
  8. Responsibility
  9. Interconnectedness