We are gathering next Sunday with people following the Spanish language mass at or local Catholic church to talk about their vision for the community. We chose the space and timing after talking with Brad Porterfield from the area’s Latino Community Association. My daughter, Madeline, who is a natural facilitator and fluent Spanish speaker has graciously offered to lead the dialogue. John’s wife, Teresa Blakinger, gifted us her talents and created a very helpful graphic that depicts the current 2030 vision. St. Francis church will provide a space that is familiar, comfortable and safe for the participants.
At another earlier community vision event, when the conversation turned to who is and is not “in the room,” I was struck by a comment by one of the organizers who was confounded by the fact the few free tickets to the Bend westside/swanky/privileged event were not accessed by anybody. Much to her credit, Oregon’s First Lady, Cylvia Hayes, who was on stage with the Governor, responded that many people would not feel comfortable at that space.
This prompted me to reach out to Brad, Madeline, Teresa, and the folks at the church to see if we could demonstrate a dialogue on the 2030 vision with community members whose voices are often underrepresented in community decision making processes.
Here’s the flyer translated by Madeline:
The event was last Sunday. 40+ adults and about 10 children were present. Several people commented that they were very grateful and had never been asked before to contribute to a community dialogue like this. Madeline has compiled the notes in Spanish and is translating them to English so we can share them with the Bend 2030 board members this week.
My quick take on the conversations has me thinking there is a great opportunity to launch conversations that might lead to a center for culture, learning, and innovation. There was a lot of energy for a gathering space in which adults and kids could learn, play, and maybe even launch small businesses. Other conversations that might grow from this include connecting the Latino community to opportunities with OSU – Cascades and advocacy for inclusive access to driver licenses. I look forward to the evolving conversation and collaborations that result.