The Steering Committee for RVA Thrives is made up primarily of residents from neighborhoods along the corridor, but also includes representatives from businesses and non-profits active along the corridor. The Steering Committee is presently being facilitated by Thriving Cities, and this Committee's primary roles are to connect the project to others living and working along the corridor, provide active feedback and guidance on the creation and direction of the Working Groups, and support the Working Groups' alignment and collaboration with related nonprofit, city, or business initiatives. A long-term goal for the Steering Committee is that it develops into a permanent organization dedicated to thriving throughout the Jeff Davis Corridor.
In the spring of 2017, Community Advocates were hired to help design and undertake a community listening process in neighborhoods along the corridor. Each advocate either currently lives along Rt 1 or has a close connection to it, and the collected over 700 surveys and 50 interviews in over the course of the summer. You can see our Community Advocates here.
At the end of the summer, the Steering Committee held a retreat in which they discussed results from the surveys and interviews undertaken by the Community Advocates. The Steering Committee selected Jobs Access, Neighborhood Beautification, and Neighborhood Safety as the three areas around which they wanted to form Working Groups. Each Working Group seeks actionable initiatives and partnerships to help address those problem areas.
The working groups report and make recommendations to the Steering Committee. Their purpose is to research, define, and create an execution plan to address at least three problems identified through the listening process. The working groups are resident-led, but like the Steering Committee can include representatives from neighborhoods, businesses, non-profits, foundations, and city government. The Working Groups began meeting in January 2018.
RVA Thrives from the River to Walmsley started in January of 2017, and below is a timeline of the project through 2018.
- Jan-May: Building relationships, Steering Committee, and Community Advocates team
- June-July: Listening Process
- Aug-Sept: Data analysis, Steering Committee narrows down working group focus areas
- Oct-Dec: Recruiting for working groups
- Jan-Mar: Working Groups begin meeting and researching solutions
- Apr-June: Community input on solution areas & community Resourcing materials finished and published
- July-Sept: Steering Committee and Working Groups engage stakeholders to seek funding and or policy changes to the proposed solutions.
- Oct-Dec: Evaluation of the process & Feedback panels