ABILENE, Texas (KRBC)-Abilene leaders gathered on Tuesday to hear the announcement of a new grassroots initiative called Thrive ABI.
This privately-funded program is a collaboration of leaders from local government and administration, private businesses and local non-profits to prioritize issues that the community of Abilene deems important.
Thrive ABI was first proposed by Mayor Anthony Williams and Seaton Higginbotham of Arrow Ford, as a kind of master plan for the Key City.
“The objective is to bring the community together and coalesce it around a group of ideas, and when you do that, you can make an impact.”
The initiative mirrors SA2020, a program that began in 2010 by San Antonio collaborators to tackles issues in education, health care, security and community arts.
According to Thrive ABI officials, the program will begin this process by hosting three open forums, the first on November 18th at the Abilene Convention Center from 6:30-8:30 p.m. There will be two following forums in December.
The program will also send out supplemental email surveys for further request of the public’s opinion. The ultimate objective of this first phase of this program is to build a community vision statement that encompasses these proposed issues to solve.
The Community Foundation of Abilene, whose main goal is to connect non-profits in the community will direct the future of Thrive ABI. Megan Dobbs, marketing coordinator for CFA, is now the director of Thrive ABI’s “Steering Committee.” This committee, in partnership with its hired analytics service Crescendo will assess the input collected at the open forums to determine what will be the goals of the program to accomplish.
“It’s not just people who attend important meetings in town,” said Dobbs. “It’s people who live in every neighborhood, from every zip code, from every background. It’s really important they be represented.”
There is no set deadline for these goals nor a specific number of goals, according to Thrive ABI officials.