November 12, 2017

Meeting Location:  MacArthur High School


Mission:  Create a framework to establish ways to enhance cooperation

  1. Create Memoranda of Understanding between Government Entities
    1. Add WiFi for group meetings for human/social services
    2. Encourage forward thinking with human/social services
    3. Consolidate/co-locate services
    4. Look for serendipitous collaborations and opportunities
    5. Reach out to involve millennials
    6. Expand the types of side-yard acquisitions through vacant properties like used by NWRAP community
    7. Collect community plans to be available in DPL
    8. Make internet site to find these plans
    9. Develop ways to welcome new residents
    10. Develop more links to other organizations from City site
  2. Increase Partnerships
  3. Establish 211 information service
  4. increase outreach through social media


  1. Residential Housing
    1. OKO
    2. GM Square
    3. Wood St – Cantrell St
    4. Vacant lots
  2. What do Residents Want?
    1. Mixed Use Housing
    2. Tax credit for young professionals
    3. LL registration
    4. Tiny Houses
    5. Grants
    6. Blight reduction
    7. SHOP
    8. Executive rentals
    9. Marketing campaign
    10. Bank Groups
  3. K-Mart and Hobby Lobby
    1. Studies about space use
    2. Must stabilize the housing
    3. Nonprofit home rehab
    4. Construction contracts with training requirement
    5. Community gardens/urban farming
    6. Good Health
    7. Green space
  4. City must be flexible with lot size and regulations


  1. Universal Garbage
    1. By City
    2. On water bill
    3. Enforce clean-up at businesses
    4. Hauler seal trucks
    5. Central dump spot for TVs, appliances, etc
    6. Yard Waste-Recycle
  2. Corridors
    1. strong codes
    2. Landscape maintenance code
    3. Building appearance code
    4. Un-board windows – paint to look like windows
    5. Incentives to developers to renovate existing buildings
    6. Tree planting/landscape to screen undesirable locations
    7. Plant flowers – American Bloom
    8. Sculptures
    9. Trash cans by bus stops
    10. Remove little signs
    11. Get rid of banners and signs
    12. Add blue lights downtown/on corridors
    13. More lighting
  3. Pride of Place
    1. Community involvement
    2. Adopt a block
    3. Adopt a neighborhood
    4. All churches adopt _______
    5. Tool lending library
    6. Handy man school
    7. Developer competitions
    8. Social Media
    9. Beauty contest
    10. Change ordinances to help good residents and punish dead beats
    11. Improve looks/design of trailer courts
  4. Residential
    1. Tear down dilapidated homes quickly
    2. Foreclosure properties
      1. Enforce property maintenance
      2. Funds to purchase — land banking
      3. Force banks to fix them or give them to the City
      4. Neighborhood group buy them and flip
      5. Get a law to take property after 6 months
    3. Mortgage assistance from city or government to pay mortgage
    4. Allow empty lots to be used for garages, etc cheaply without City blocking efforts.


  1. Rehab of Housing for sale
  2. Shorten timeline from abandonment to re-assignment


  1. Quick Fixes / Brainstorming
    1. Basketball in Torrence Park
    2. Drinking fountain in Torrence Park (or repair existing)
    3. Cobblestone streets — repair bricks instead of pavement
    4. Tree Program
    5. Resurface the basketball courts in Kiwanis Park
    6. City school to tell stories — promote success in our schools
    7. Eliminate drug houses in inner city
    8. Homesteading (repairs to home lead to home ownership)
    9. Neighborhood large item clean-up days IN the neighborhood
    10. Neighborhood plan
    11. No train horns in the city
    12. Community weaving
    13. Energizing
  2. Organizing neighborhoods that are not already organized
  3. Market Neighborhoods
  4. Trustee lots
  5. Airport — Capacity for larger plan


Solutions from previous discussions, ranked in priority order

  1. Training for youth that don’t go to college
  2. Teach household money management
  3. Involvement by parents in school
  4. Tackle social/emotional issues
  5. Opportunities for those out of prison
  6. Communicate job opportunities available
  7. Deal with local barriers to improvements
  8. Decatur’s resistance to change
  9. Help grow small businesses
  10. Improve soft skills
  11. Resolve lack of qualified applicants

Further resolution to address items 1 and 6 from the list —Training for youth, and Communicating job opportunities — click here

COMMUNITY HEALTH & WELLNESSclick here for more details

  1. Add safe housing — lead paint and lead dust free
  2. Neighborhood Police Officer
  3. Media blitz to communicate health
  4. Tie unemployment/welfare benefits to health topic education
  5. Smokestack Odor
  6. Gardens
  7. Mobile unit / Year-round Park
  8. Trauma informed community
  9. Bike lane on all streets
  10. Beach with bike path around lake

JOB TRAININGclick here for more details

  1. Job Readiness
    1. Workforce investment solutions
    2. Summer camp
    3. Organized mentoring program
    4. Infuse soft skills into elementary and middle school
    5. Enhance industrial arts programs
    6. Training for instructors on how to teach soft skills
  2. Education/Training
    1. Start job corps in Decatur
    2. High school/junior ROTC program
    3. funding to enhance internships
    4. Attract early childhood educators/professionals
    5. incumbent worker programs
    6. Deliberate communication
  3. Job Attraction
    1. Development of top tier workforce training institute
    2. Advertise available skill needs
    3. Fund an entrepreneurship program
    4. Trailing spouse employment program
  4. Barriers to Employment
    1. Fund ECE + Quality daycare to allow parents to work
    2. Educate employers on criminal history requirements/impacts
    3. Educate employers on hiring people with criminal backgrounds
    4. Expansion of existing/off hours transportation options
  5. Communication Strategy
    1. Targeted/Non-traditional communication of job opportunities, training programs, etc.
    2. Continuous communication

BUILDING INNER CITY OPPORTUNITIESclick here for more details

  1. Neighborhood and Individual Focus
  2. Life Skills Training
  3. Business Development