In April, over 5,000 Quad Citizens came together in conversations across the region to talk about what matters to us and what we can do individually and collectively to make our community even better and stronger. Conversations were filled with inspiration, challenges, innovation and encouragement.
So, now what?
Listed below are six ways you can build off your conversations to make a difference through civically-engaged action.
1. Share your Big Table experience
We’re committed to sharing your stories in the coming year. Complete this survey, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at 563-484-0525 or send us a note at our office. You never know who you could inspire! Be sure to include your contact information.
2. Connect with a nonprofit or civic organization
What issues do you care most about? Chances are there’s one (or more) organizations out there for you. Do a bit of research and identify one or two that resonate with your interests, passions, concerns or even geographic location. There is always a need for committed or one-time volunteers and donations. Click here to see a list of Quad Cities Chamber not-for-profit members.
3. Attend a public meeting
Each day in our region, important topics are discussed—at your son or daughter’s school Board of Education meetings, City Council meetings, at your place of worship, club gatherings or neighborhood association events… to name just a few. Public meeting schedules can be found by looking on an organization’s website, giving them a call or visiting their main office.
4. Start a project
Taking on a project of your own, no matter how big or small, gives you the opportunity to be creative, innovative and decisive. Maybe it is painting and placing community picnic tables for gathering places, or a backyard garden to help put fruits and vegetables on the table for your family and friends. Or, perhaps, it is a clothing drive, where you encourage friends to clean out their closets of clothes they don’t wear and give them to people that may need them more. Starting and finishing a project is so fulfilling you will likely want to start more.
Voting for any sort of election, whether it be federal, state or even neighborhood focused, may be the most influential way to become civically engaged. By voting in an election, you are voicing your opinion on an issue that matters. If you are not registered to vote, you can learn more here. And if you are, why not encourage and help someone else to register and vote?
6. Apply for a Community Foundation of the Great River Bend Q2030 Grant
Community Foundation Q2030 Grants support nonprofits organizations working to advance our region’s vision of becoming even more cool, creative, connected, and prosperous. Grants are available for up to $2,500. Learn more and apply here.
Acting on just one of the six ideas listed above will help you stay engaged with other members of our community and are also wonderful starting points for creating meaningful change throughout the Quad Cities region.
P.S. The Quad Cities Big Table survey results are currently being analyzed by a third party consultant. Look for a Report to the Community in mid-July that will include what was discussed and any next steps by Q2030.
Yes, we’re doing the Quad Cities Big Table again next year! Mark your calendars now: Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27!
Last but not least, have you had a chance to see the videos produced from The Big Table weekend?
Two different crews of Fresh Films teens went around the community to film at various Big Table events. Fresh Films uses the lens of film to build confidence, technical and college/career readiness skills like collaboration and creative thinking. Local teens work on-set rotating through all film positions for films, TV shows, and documentaries. Check out one of the videos they produced during the Quad Cities Big Table below, and learn more at www.fresh-films.com.