Over the past few months, I’ve shared with many people why I believe so strongly in Berea becoming an “age-friendly” community. As a resident, I have a personal stake in what the future of our city will look like for me, my family, and my friends. I also have concern for others who may not be as fortunate as you or I when it comes to mobility, housing, jobs, social engagement or other quality of life issues that overtime affect us all.
What I like about the “age-friendly” movement taking shape in Berea and in other cities across our nation is that it does not focus upon any one issue. Rather, it seeks to address many issues that impact a community and its residents. An “age-friendly” community also, strives to include as many people, of any age or ability as possible, in expressing their opinions and taking a role in helping to create a better community for all. It proceeds from the assumption that:
1. No one has a monopoly on the issues
2. No one has a monopoly on the answers
3. Everyone has a right to participate (if they so choose) in offering ideas and ways to come up with solutions
A survey in itself is not the answer. It is however, a way to start the process. It provides us with an opportunity to voice our opinions on what is important to us in terms of a “livable” community and provides our leaders with the feedback they need to plan wisely for our future.
The goal is to consider the wisdom of what we’ve learned; have the willingness to change course or make corrections; and incorporate the thinking and vision of all of our residents in making Berea a better place to “grow up and grow old.”
More than that, it is also about creating more jobs and growing our economy. The sampling of survey results shared so far bear this out as part of the diversity of issues, ideas, and comments received.
Some comments represent concerns over issues that have gone unresolved for far too long, while others raise concerns that have not been voiced before. Still other respondents have thought enough about the questions to bring up thought-provoking, creative, and insightful ideas intended for the benefit of all.
New ideas, as well as creative and practical solutions, can come from anywhere and anybody. Our intent is to encourage, discuss, and cultivate more of them in considering where we want our community to go.
For those of you who have already taken the “age-friendly” survey and sent us your responses we say thank you. We hope too, that you will encourage others to complete the questionnaire as well. Our goal is to hear from as many of our residents as possible between now and September 30, when we will conclude the survey.
The questionnaire can be completed online at http://bit.ly/AgeFriendlyBerea or call me at 859-985-1936 about obtaining a hard copy. The survey is also available on the City of Berea website www.bereaky.gov.
One voice can make a difference; many voices can move mountains.