Reinvest Toledo looks to bridge gaps for community development
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - When big projects come to places like Toledo, what’s being done to make sure they really help the people who live there? One group is trying to bring all sides to the table.
Reinvest Toledo is not a group deciding where money and dollars need to go -- it wants to make sure people in the neighborhoods have a say.
The hope is that the Swayne Field shopping center will have vibrant life very soon. Leaders at Reinvest Toledo want to make sure people living in nearby communities are at the table for those discussions before decisions are made.
“You have organizations and systems who make decisions and plans based on their frame of reference, what seems right or appears right to them. Then the people in the community, they’re going ‘you should have asked us. We would have told you that doesn’t work. It’s not what we need, nor what we want,’” said Amelia Gibbon of Reinvest Toledo.
Gibbon says they’re making sure neighborhood leaders talk to decision makers to bring change that actually works for them. For example: food deserts. What can be done to make sure underserved communities get access to thing like fresh foods? How can urban farming work?
“When you have fast food restaurants, 5 of those and no grocery store, or a corner store that has more liquor and cigarettes and definitely not healthy foods, not necessarily an agenda but what happens to the people?” said Gibbon.
The organization has already connected people to the city’s Forward Toledo plan, developing land uses for the next few decades. It’s all in an effort to bridge gaps and build trust.
That discussion on food deserts will be happening on March 18th. Look for their registration on its Facebook page.
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