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01-15-14-communityconversations.gifSometimes a good idea or a solution to a problem never makes it to the right person. It’s not because anyone intends it to be this way, but because the person with the idea or solution doesn’t know who to contact or how to get in touch with them. This month, the community has a chance to be involved in a forum to change that. On Monday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Ministerial Council and the City of Fayetteville, in partnership with local organizations and institutions, will host Community Conversations Kickoff.

Volunteer and Chairperson for the Fayetteville Cumberland Human Relations Commission, Cathy Waddell believes this is an opportunity the community will not want to miss. The commission has put a lot of thought in to when and where to hold the event to make it easier for anyone who would like to attend. “Because Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day on rather than a day off we thought it would be an ideal time to do some things that make a difference,” said Waddell. “We felt it was a great time to schedule this because people will be there (at the prayer breakfast) so people who want to participate can stay after.”

The facilitators will ask attendees:

• What is being done to improve ways that citizen and resident input are included in the City’s decisions and plans for bettering Fayetteville?

• How can we make sure that the community’s needs are listened to and addressed appropriately?

• In what ways can residents, city leadership and local organizations and institutions work together to help our city become a healthier, more vibrant, inclusive and sustainable major North Carolina city?

• What is your vision of Fayetteville in 15 years?

“This is the initial community conversation,” said Waddell. “The information we get will generate the other conversations. The information will be given to the mayor and other members of City Council and we hope they will take it to help make decisions about things in the community."

The format and process used in the Community Conversations is a continuation of previous Study Circles and will continue throughout the year.

Space is limited for the Jan. 20 kickoff, so pre-registration is required by contacting the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Department during normal business hours at (910) 433-1696. Citizens can also engage in the Community Conversations Online by visiting FayettevilleOutFront.com.

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