If we build it…will it come?

If we build it…will it come?

Next phase of JAX2025 calling for “builders”

Mayor Alvin Brown chats with participants at the JAX2025 release event May 18

Mayor Alvin Brown chats with participants at the JAX2025 release event May 18

To borrow upon and paraphrase a saying from a popular late 1980s movie, if Jacksonville builds it, will a brighter future really come?

Participants at the May 18 JAX2025 release and launch event at EverBank Field heard the promises of leaders for the 10 visions identified back at the January meeting. According to Terry Lorince, executive director of Downtown Vision, Inc., “This [Jacksonville] should be one of the most phenomenal cities in the world.” She continued, “We need t

o fight to do the right things for Downtown and that requires stronger advocacy from all of us.”
Former interim CEO of JAX Chamber’s Jerry Mallot said that the focus isn’t just on growing the economy but on targeting young people to engage them in the solutions.
The Jacksonville Transit Authority’s Brad Thoburn, director of strategic planning, believes it is critical for that organization to be a partner in Downtown development and wants to start immediately changing the discussion about the Skyway. The JTA recently applied for funding to build a station in Brooklyn to service an expected influx of residents and employees at 220 Riverside and eventual development of the adjoining property between Jackson and Stonewall streets.

The most passionate speaker by far – as witnessed by the amount of applause, whistles and standing ovations – was Duval County Public School Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti. His premise – and the promise – was that none of the other nine visions would be achievable without strong public education. Vitti is making strides to improve the quality

Helene Kamps-Stewart and Missy Jackson, of Friends of the Murray Hill Library, have camped out at every JAX2025 event to get signatures for a straw ballot in August 2014. Less than 10,000 signatures have been collected and 26,000 are needed by the end of 2013.

Helene Kamps-Stewart and Missy Jackson, of Friends of the Murray Hill Library, have camped out at every JAX2025 event to get signatures for a straw ballot in August 2014. Less than 10,000 signatures have been collected and 26,000 are needed by the end of 2013.

of the city’s public schools and is working on it from the ground up. He spoke about bringing back detention and Saturday School, getting a solid round of applause for saying that parents would be required to attend as well.
It wasn’t only the Phase I “Imagine it.” action plans that were released at the gathering that Saturday. Mayor Alvin Brown also released a new social media program “More of This, Less of That,” which encourages residents to snap a photo of something they like and tweet it with #MoreOfThis or email it to [email protected] and, conversely, tweet about something that isn’t liked

(#LessOfThat) or email it to [email protected] The program is designed to take the pulse of the community and help build dialogue about strengths and opportunities for improvement.
The next step in the Jacksonville Community Council Inc.’s three-phase vision program is the “Build it.” phase, which starts with an Implementation Kickoff on Jun. 26 at the WJCT studios at 11:30 a.m. This phase lasts until September 2025, and is broken into three sections:
• Institutional Advocacy, in which key partners for each of the 10 vision targets can help implement the vision.
• Individual Action, that asks residents to get involved through HandsOn Jacksonville or find engagement opportunities at www.JAX2025.org
• Communication of What’s Happening through social media outlets and news media and review of quarterly reports with progress updates.

The meeting closed with a call to JAX2025 participants and area residents to take action as an advocate, an ambassador, a funder and/or a doer, putting ownership of the colle

ctive vision on all citizens. For more information, visit www.jax2025.org.

By Kate A. Hallock – Resident Community News

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