OWATONNA — It’s been a long time coming, but Owatonna Forward is ready to share its vision for the future of Owatonna.
“Our Shared Destiny,” they call it.
And along with the organization’s statement of its vision for Owatonna’s future, it is also sharing 13 specific action-driven goals — “destiny drivers,” they are called — for the community.
Launched in January 2016, Owatonna Forward is a grassroots, citizen-driven effort that, according to its website, “seeks to ensure a healthy and prosperous future” for the Owatonna community.
“We believe the only way we can get to where we want to be is by agreeing on where we are going — our destiny — and working together to get there,” the website continues.
Earlier this year, in order to delineate that destiny, members of Owatonna Forward — “stewards,” they are called — initiated what they called the “listening phase” of the project. That phase had members of Owatonna Forward venturing out into the community to listen to associations and organizations, businesses and industries, as well as individual citizens to take the pulse of the community about where they see Owatonna going in the future.
In addition, the stewards conducted public input sessions to which anybody and everybody in the community was invited to come voice their opinions. There was also an online survey to which people could respond.
Originally, Owatonna Forward planned on revealing the results of the public response sometime in the summer, but the stewards delayed that reveal until the fall after they discovered they had much more material to comb through than they originally anticipated they would have, and they wanted to make sure they were getting it right.
Now, in the waning days of autumn, Owatonna Forward in ready to reveal those 13 destiny drivers and why they deem them important for the Owatonna community.
Over the next few weeks, in the Tuesday and Weekend editions of the Owatonna People’s Press, those destiny drivers will be revealed to the Owatonna community.
Those drivers fell into themes that the stewards say revolved around downtown revitalization and the city’s river district; talent recruitment; housing; parks, recreation and trails; safety; education, sense of community; and leadership and civic engagement.
Here, then, is the statement of shared destiny and the first of the destiny drivers — drivers that are being grouped under the heading “Open for business.”