Community Information

Task Force Chair: Yvonne Cariveau

Next Steps:

  • Refine the action step into things we can do (some of ours are pretty vague and hard to measure).
  • Reform our task force with a wider, more diverse population of participants. (get the word out that we need/want participation) and then meet to pick an action to work on together.  Contact Yvonne at yvonne@voyageurweb.com if you’d like to get involved.

Goal

Improve information delivery to residents.

Rationale

It is important to deliver information to our residents about various services and opportunities available in our community and provide information-givers, residents and others with the ability to access places where services/activities/events, etc. may be coordinated and disseminated.

Strategy

Create mechanisms to effectively deliver information and for residents to access information.

Action Steps

1. Gain commitment throughout the region to develop mechanisms for intergenerational dialogue as a way of getting input and solving problems, and as a tool to articulate the implementation of our envisioning process. Tap into each generation from old to young.

  • No action taken by this task force on this action step as yet.
  • Task force chairperson would like to refine this to broaden it and make it more specific.  Broaden it to include all types of diverse populations and narrow it by saying that we will work to develop at least one new mechanism for dialogue to occur between people of diverse backgrounds (diverse in age, race, background, religion, etc).  A specific action step then might be a means for dialog between generations.  Would love input on this.
  • The meeting on November 9th called Calling Mankato Home (sponsored by the Free Press and Minnesota Public Radio) created a dialog about making this a great place to live for everyone.  See http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/minnesota-today-insight-now/archive/2010/11/calling-mankato-home-dealing-with-growing-diversity.shtml for a transcript.

2. Use technology to connect residents and information providers to coordinate and disseminate information about the community.

  • Development of the new envision-2020.com site that enables participants to share information more easily with the community. Done spring 2009.
  • Development of greatermankatoevents.com site that provides a comprehensive calendar of local events and allows the public and information providers to post events. Done 2009.
  • Development of web site to enable the community to find volunteer opportunities in the area. Done by the United Way.
  • Utilize tools like online discussion meetings to enable people to get together virtually and discuss topics of interest.   [Facebook, Google+ and other tools have arisen for this.]
  • Index of forums, chat rooms, etc. that relate to Mankato and the greater Mankato area  [Perhaps no longer needed given Google tools.]
  • This action item is completed – but more can always be done.

3. Utilize information providers to aid in promotion of delivery system portal by inputting information into system they sponsor/co-sponsor.

  • For the greatermankatoevents.com site, information providers (GMG, GMG-CVB, Free Press, TRCA, MSU, Gustavus and Bethany plus organizations and individuals) collaborated and/or provide information for  the calendar.  For the envision-2020 site, various members of the E2020 teams update their own pages.  For the United Way volunteer site, various nonprofits post their volunteer opportunities here and funding comes from the United Way.
  • This action item is completed.

4. Index services and information providers through computer databases and various community gathering spots around the Greater Mankato region.

  • Creation of a database of resources to assist small businesses.  [DONE – gmbaonline.com and myminnesotabusiness.com]
  • Is there a need for a community-wide index of services and information providers? for what, everything is too broad? Does this exist already? Is Google sufficient?  This action item requires some focus and discussion.

5. Connect various groups via physical and virtual information spots in the community. A possible location for an information hub could be at a future community center.

  • Creation of the Emy Frentz Guild location for the Twin Rivers Center for the Arts has connected various arts groups in the community and helped provide a hub for the public to find events and purchase tickets.
  • Diversity council parent table meetings have helped bring together parents and school staff to build community.
  • VINE has taken over the Summit Center building and provides a gathering and meeting place for senior citizens in the community. They are raising funds for a senior community center for 55+.
  • The Walking in Two Worlds program at the YWCA  and Lincoln Community center are important gathering places and points of contact for new members of the community.
  • What other physical and virtual meeting spots do we have in Mankato?  Let’s make a list.
    • Coffee shops – Fillin’ Station, Coffee Hag, etc.
    • Ice cream parlor/coffee shop – Mom & Pops
    • Snell Community Room
    • YMCA
    • Churches
    • Civic Center
    • Hotels and Motels
    • Ethnic grocery stores
    • Others?

6. Develop an interactive approach between residents/community leaders/information providers.

  • The diversity council parent meetings are a great example of this type of interactive approach, as are the Cecil’s Table events at the YWCA.
  • The greatermankatoevents.com calendar site was developed by this task force, community leaders and information providers.  It is kept up to date and supported by residents as well as information providers and community leaders.
  • This action item is pretty broad – everything from the City of Mankato board meeting to the Free Press’ editorial columns could be considered interactive.  There are lots of interactive opportunities for residents to communicate with community leaders and information providers help bridge that gap.  Perhaps we can narrow this one down a bit – to residents that have difficulty engaging in those interactive opportunities??

Measures of Success

Atttendance rates going up at community events, numbers of hits on web sites improving, number of accessibility ports available to residents throughout the region increased, number of users using those portals of information throughout the region increasing, surveys identifying age, demographics of our area done.