Today the Greater Topeka Partnership announced the findings of the Momentum 2022 annual community survey. Titled “Back 2 Momentum” the survey conducted between August and December of 2020 assessed the community’s priorities at the halfway point of the Momentum 2022 strategy that began in 2018. Available in English and Spanish, the organization received 2,165 responses. The key recommendations from the community survey include the need to address enhancements in education, economic development, quality of life, and diversity.
“Key findings include the continued focus on small business support and entrepreneurial initiatives; with regard to education, there was a desire for more career preparedness offerings,” said Michelle Cuevas-Stubblefield, senior vice president of strategy, Greater Topeka Partnership. “There was also a need for more diversity and collaboration.”
Other key findings include the noted lack of awareness of entrepreneurial, startup offerings; respondents believing that their students receive a high quality of education in their school districts; the desire for more amenities, restaurants, retail, entertainment options, and the alignment of the arts into economic quality of life endeavors; and an interest in the improvement of digital equity and broadband access.
“All of these recommendations are valuable to our continued growth and development as a community,” continues Cuevas-Stubblefield. “Furthermore, by taking the temperature, so to speak, on what people desire for their community, we are better able to adapt our strategy to meet those needs in the future.”
“We’ve seen much progress since Momentum’s inception, be it the creation of a TIF district or encouraging development, or the push for Washburn Tech East,” said Greater Topeka Partnership CEO Matt Pivarnik. “However, we know our work is far from over, and mid-course adjustments are part of the process to refocus our efforts to further drive change and progress.”
In addition to these findings, it was found that there was a higher number of young adult (18-24 yrs.) participation in this survey (16.15%) as compared to a previous community survey conducted in 2016 (6.00%).
“It was amazing to see this many young professionals give responses on what they want for their community in this survey,” exclaimed Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla. The Mayor also serves as a tri-chair for the Momentum 2022 Implementation Committee.
Many involved with Momentum planning are excited that they can involve a broad cross section of the community in pivotal discussions and further visioning. “When we say community, what are we saying? What is the person on the street saying – the common man?” posits Councilman Michael Padilla, District 5. “I think we’ve taken that into great consideration with this survey and with the plan. We don’t work in a vacuum – we work with the community and invite people to the table.”
“Momentum is where everyone can go to create community impact and drive synergy,” continued Mayor De La Isla. The mayor also notes that community visioning and strategizing will be a continuous process if Topeka & Shawnee County wants to be able to make further progress. “We’re not done; we’ll never be done because we’ll never be satisfied.”
To review the full community survey report, click here.
About Momentum 2022
Momentum 2022 is a comprehensive, actionable, and consensus-based community plan to guide Topeka-Shawnee Counties collective actions in the years to come. This plan involves everyone to create positive change for everyone. https://www.topekapartnership.com/mo22/
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