On Tuesday, September 28, the Macon Violence Prevention (MVP) Leadership Team met for an all day strategic planning session. Nearly 40 people from more than 20 organizations, agencies, nonprofits, and departments reviewed the information collected from more than 1,100 people who attended 14 community forums and more than 700 surveys submitted in person or online.
“The response we got from the community shows us all that we’re on the right path…that we’re tackling an issue that is very important to them,” says Mayor Lester Miller. “It also shows us they’re ready and willing to be active partners in finding solutions. Improving public safety is too important to people in our neighborhoods for us to not be thorough and purposeful.”
Held at Mercer University and facilitated by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson, the group spent the day developing goals for the community based on feedback, possible action steps, and future needs.
“We have now a coalition of people and organizations working together on a level unseen in our community, one that is bonded together for a common cause, and we have to take advantage of this moment to move our community forward,” says Mayor Miller. “But this is going to more than us sitting in a room discussing the solutions. We will continue to engage with the larger community…we will find ways to fund successful programs…we will support those who are ready and willing to work toward these goals…because improving public safety will only be possible if we work together.”
A full report is being developed from these sessions that will be released as a guideline for local organizations to develop programming or submit current programs for future funding.
“This is our chance to look back at all we learned from meeting with the community about what people saw as its needs, potential resources, and more,” says Mayor Miller. “Improving public safety, time and time again, has been shown to be our community’s top priority, and we all recognize that it will take a multi-faceted approach to make that happen.”