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Library of Initiatives

Citizens Opinion Poll – Nielsen-Harris

Background

One Region conducted a Citizen’s Opinion Poll through the company of Nielsen-Harris in the summer of 2015. One Region believes that a synergy could exist if Porter, LaPorte, and Lake counties in Northwest Indiana coordinate and share resources to solve issues they might not be able to alone.

Impact

To evaluate the current state of the three counties, better understand the most important issues they are facing, determine the attitudes of residents toward potentially pooling/sharing resources for the purpose of leveraging efficiencies to more effectively solve the issues at hand, and identifying what is most important to the future of the Northwest Indiana region. These results can be used to galvanize the idea of the three counties working together as one region for the benefit of all.

Early Education Grant Pilot Program

In 2014, One Region was the lead applicant along with co-respondents Lake Area United Way and Geminus/Head Start in submitting a “Statement of Readiness” for Lake County to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration for selection to participate in the Early Education Grant Pilot Program. Lake County was selected as one of the five-counties to participate in this $10 million pilot program.

Regional Priorities Summit

Background

One Region along with the Northwest Indiana Forum hosted a Regional Priorities Summit in November of 2015 where nearly 200 business leaders and others gathered for a working discussion on identifying regional priorities, coming up with action plans, along with short and long term goals in making a commitment to the “blueprint” of the future of Northwest Indiana. The Citizens Opinion Poll conducted during the summer was used as a focus for the Summit.

Impact

The results of this community engagement process are used to identify the goals of One Region. Therefore, the focus in 2016 will include but not limited to:

  1. Funding of the South Shore double-tracking project
  2. Rebranding of our regional identity
  3. Consolidation of government services
  4. Expanding early childhood education in Northwest Indiana

Community Leader Retreat

On October 3, 2013, One Region hosted a one day retreat for selected community leaders and members of the Northwest Indiana legislative delegation of our three-county region to discuss issues of importance to our community and state and the role they can all play in addressing those issues.

Following is a summary of the major issues identified at the retreat. These issues are not listed in any particular order:

  • Expand the South Shore.
  • Advocate and fund early education.
  • Connect industry and education to strengthen the workforce.
  • Secure funding for the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority.
  • Improve access to affordable health care.
  • Expand Gary Airport.
  • Improve reality and perception of public safety through community involvement and other crime prevention programs.

Young Leaders Summit

The young leaders of Northwest Indiana held a summit in December 2013 sponsored by Lake Area United Way and One Region to discuss the importance of issues that were identified at One Region’s Community Leader Retreat held in October. Those in attendance were able to cast their vote as follows: 3 votes for 1st choice, 2 votes for 2nd choice, and 1 vote for 3rd choice. There were a total of 190 votes cast for all issues. Following are the results for the top 5 issues.

  • Ranked #1 Issue: Expand the South Shore
  • Ranked #2 Issue: Improve economic development opportunities to attract and retain young professionals to the region
  • Ranked #3 Issue: Connect industry and education to strengthen workforce
  • Ranked #4 Issue: Secure funding for RDA
  • Ranked #5 Issue: Advocate and fund early childhood education

Health Summit

A health summit was sponsored in November 2013 by One Region’s Northwest Indiana Health Advisory Council, co-chaired by Dr. Pat Bankston and Representative Charlie Brown. The topic was the health of our region’s residents.

The summit was designed to allow One Region to take a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to advance the Quality of Life Indicators and future indicators reports.

Participants from across Lake, Porter, and La Porte counties were engaged in discussions around health and other indicator areas that impact health.