Merger Good for Lakewood
The following is excerpted from remarks presented by Mary Anne Crampton, Executive Director of LCPI, when the merger was announced at the LakewoodAlive Lakewood Hospital forum on October 8th:
...So many of you here tonight, in ways big and small, have championed efforts to protect and advance Lakewood’s quality of life by donating time and talent to the community. Because of you, there were flowers blooming and bands playing in downtown this summer, Spooky Pooches will parade next weekend and downtown Lakewood will Light Up on December 6th. Because of you, we are a model city for gathering community input on major projects, like the Detroit Streetscape plan and new signage design. Because of you, we had thousands come to Walk+Roll in Lakewood, and most importantly, because of you, Lakewood is attracting investors who value the attributes of our community and believe in its future.
There is so much more work to be done. We have only begun to see what is possible. Congratulations to the boards of LakewoodAlive and LCPI who observed the desire of so many residents to participate in defining their future, who seized the opportunity to collaborate, and who understand the tremendous potential of a single, merged organization. The quality of citizen engagement in LakewoodAlive, combined with the 501-c 3 tax structure of LCPI will allow us to tap into financial resources not available to the government or other civic organizations and creatively tackle community issues unencumbered by the bureaucracy that so often impedes progress.
As an independent, nonprofit community development organization, the new LakewoodAlive is expected to bring efficiency, innovation and high impact to its project areas. With the high level of resident involvement, the willing coordination and cooperation of the current administration and city council, we have no doubt that LakewoodAlive will keep the momentum building.
We will continue upon the path of only taking on projects that can be executed at a high quality level. Our resources our limited, and we can’t afford to spend them on half-hearted efforts. With expanded community support, we will drive progress with focus in four areas:
1. Community engagement – that is, the LakewoodAlive forum programming of the past four years will continue.
2. Downtown Lakewood revitalization. While we will work with City Planning & Development and other groups as needed in other areas, Downtown Lakewood revitalization, with the help of community volunteers, will continue to be the focus of our economic development efforts.
3. We expect to increase our role in administering enhanced security in select areas of the city as requested by business owners
4. In 2009 we look forward to playing a new role in addressing housing quality issues… an area identified by LakewoodAlive members 3 years ago as needing immediate attention.
We will soon be introducing an updated website, incorporating the activities of the two organizations. If you have not done so already, please get on our e-letter mailing list by joining LakewoodAlive at lakewoodalive.com. That is where we will post information about volunteer opportunities for specific events or committee openings.
I’m just the facilitator. It’s you, your friends and your neighbors who are doing all the work. Thank you for your support and confidence in our efforts.