by John Steinberger | April 12, 2018 7:53 pm
The Library Foundation of the Lowcountry has set a “trial run” for a larger tri-county focus group effort on September 27 with the announcement of “On the Table” meetings on Tuesday, May 1. The On the Table concept was first rolled out in Chicago several years ago to give residents a chance to sound out on ways to improve neighborhoods and quality of life. A similar effort in Lexington, Kentucky recently involved more than 11,000 residents. The focus groups will be held at libraries, restaurants and coffee shops, and homes. The website for the event is LowcountryOnTheTable.org
Think of On the Table as the West Ashley Master plan without the consultants or an agenda. The meetings will involve small groups gathering around tables with food, coffee and other beverages and discussing things participants like about their community and things they would like to see improved. A host will record comments, and all of the comments will be compiled into a booklet and summarized by neighborhood or region. Whether your issues are traffic, drainage, schools, crime, job opportunities or zoning density, your voices will be heard. The motto for the focus groups is Your Voice Matters.
People who volunteer to host a focus group will be provided with a facilitator’s guide to get the conversations going. The hosts will take notes and e-mail them to leaders from the Library Foundation. The conversations and issues will not be guided. The group meetings may be held any time on May 1. Participants will be asked to provide their addresses and e-mail addresses and will be sent a survey form on May 2. The identity of participants will will be protected – only the comments will be recorded and tabulated.
A list of restaurants which host the focus groups will be listed shortly at LowcountryOnTheTable.org. Most of the Charleston County libraries will host groups, as well as some from Berkeley and Dorchester counties. I will host a table at the Cynthia Hurd Regional Library at 1735 N. Woodmere Drive (behind the Village Square Shopping Center) from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm on May 1. If you would like to participate in the focus group at the library or host an event at your home, office or a restaurant, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, your voice matters! How do you want to make the Lowcountry a better place to live, work and enjoy life?
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