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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Call to Action* meeting – Monday January 29 at Artisan Center

Call to Action* meeting – Monday January 29 at Artisan Center

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

To Jessica Herzing, of The Cameron County Project, that is what community is all about; “Coming together for the good of our town, our county and our neighbors. That is just one of the things that makes Cameron County really special, and a great place to live.” She writes in an open letter to the County of Cameron, its residents and friends, as she promotes The Cameron County Project initiative. Specifically, she is highlighting an upcoming “Call to Action” meeting that will take place at 7pm on Monday January 29, 2018 at the Cameron County Artisan Center.

She continues the letter to explain details about the Cameron County Project initiative and what she hopes for its future, “Every single one of you is my community; you’re all my neighbors and if you’re anything like me, circa 2016, you have no idea how important your story, ideas, and concerns are to our community. If you only knew how important you are, you would be a force to be reckoned with. The Cameron County Project’s mission is to encourage residents to be engaged and to build community pride by focusing on what unites us as residents in Cameron County – Our stories of why we love it here. I want to create a force of community pride and positivity that is contagious to my neighbors, warmly welcomed and encouraged to thrive, helping guide decision making in our community.

There are so many ways to promote change and make decisions in a community – many rely on things that an accountant, like myself, normally can get behind – mainly numbers and statistics, ratios to this and that. But you and I are not numbers, we’re hearts, souls, experiences, and beliefs – all that shape how we view the good, and bad, in our county. The Cameron County Project is patterned after the Orton Family Foundation’s successful Community Heart and Soul program that captures the positive of a community through the stories told by those living here. Its principles are simple.

1. Involve Everyone – and take the collective “idea bucket” to them, so their ideas can be heard.

2. Focus on what Matters – Identify the community’s characteristics and attributes where residents’ emotional attachments lie to define what matters most about our community and use those as a guide to how we change and grow.

3. Play the Long Game – Focus the project on ensuring that the community’s plans or ideas don’t just sit on the shelf but are owned by the residents who have a commitment to their success.

It’s through this development of deep emotional connections to the community that lead to a resident’s commitment, action and a community that can build resilience through the practice of working together and learning new skills.

I know this project will promote a sense of pride in county for my fellow residents and I am confident in the success of my goal to bring more people, of all ages, genders, and social backgrounds, to the table, removing the stigma that the same ten people make all the decisions in our county, and develop leaders from visionary residents from whom we’ve yet to hear. It is my hope through sheer positivity and openness, we can build the trust needed to share in the success of change as it occurs and really own our community, its identity and well-being, as neighbors working together toward the same goals. No one person or idea can spark growth and change a community, but together – the possibilities are delightfully endless.

If this sounds like something you want to a part of -- The Cameron County Project will be hosting a *Call to Action* meeting – Monday, January 29th at the Chamber and Artisan Center. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the meeting will begin at 7 pm and run about an hour. This meeting is intended to recruit volunteers – but will also be discussing the Project, its goals, and its upcoming projects and events. I want to invite all residents and friends of Cameron County seeking to promote positive vibes, long-lasting community pride and being a champion of what residents love about our community to attend.

Kind Regards from your neighbor,

Jess Herzing”

You can also follow the project and participate through their website www.thecameroncountyproject.com or by emailing Jess: camcoproud@gmail.com.

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