Nowhere else in the United States has more potential than Racine, Wisconsin.
Racine is centrally located between Milwaukee and Chicago with a historic downtown. We have an award-winning freshwater beach, notable architecture and a diverse population that calls Racine home. The Racine Art Museum has one of the largest collections of craft art in the western hemisphere and Racine, nicknamed Kringleville, is the Kringle Capital of America. We have a progressive history of social justice and innovation being a critical stop in the Underground Railroad and producing more patents per capita than any other city in the nation during the period of industrialization.
Why then does Racine face the challenges of the highest unemployment rate in the state of Wisconsin, stubborn poverty and a declining population?
It isn’t because we don’t have the assets or energy of a successful community. Urban Planners and developers alike would dream to have the attributes and people power Racine has in their communities. It is because we lack alignment. We lack the ability to focus our resources together in a smarter way.
R.T. Rybak, the former Mayor of Minneapolis often uses the analogy of a logjam to describe a lack of community collaboration and coordination. For a moment think about a series of logs flowing down the Root River, lined up for yards, hitting each and other creating a dam blocking the flow of the river. You don’t unclog a logjam by shoving the innumerable logs with brute force from behind. The logs will collide against each other making an even tighter, impenetrable jam. But instead, what you do with a logjam is identify a “key log.” What are those distinct, vital logs you can move that then let the current get behind the logs and allow the river to flow?
We have a logjam of opportunity in this community.
Visioning a Greater Racine works to identify the “key logs” that the region is facing through visioning sessions where the community identifies opportunities and a path forward. During this process, diverse community stakeholders are brought to the table and begin to work on making the community better with key organizations, grassroots groups, governmental bodies and businesses. They create a cohesive unit working a plan and a vision that the community has created.
This is why it is critical that you participate in a visioning session and let your voice be heard. Racine has as much potential as those in the community wish to pursue. Please be apart of the vision and take an active role in the future of your community.
For more information find Visioning a Greater Racine on Facebook or at visioningagreaterracine.org.