Voices and Choices

The Fund for Our Economic Future
Planning & Growth
Northeast Ohio
August 2005, October 2006

A Region Rebuilds Its Economic Future

Tens of thousands of people from across Northeast Ohio came together to set an action agenda to revitalize theregion’s ailing economy.  This massive public deliberation, called Voices & Choices, was the result of an unprecedented partnership between AmericaSpeaks and a coalition of 80 local foundations.

One of the largest public deliberations ever convened, Voices & Choices combined a variety of approaches for mobilizing the region’s citizenry, including one-on-one interviews, online forums and large-scale town meetings. Over 20,000 participants identified the region’s strengths,  identified and prioritized its most important challenges and brainstormed solutions.

The Fund for Our Economic Future took the priorities that came out of Voices & Choices and created a set of action steps called Advancing Northeast Ohio.  Each action step will be implemented by a collaboration of partners responsible for a specific initiative of the plan.  The Fund for Our Economic Future and Advance Northeast Ohio, the engine for implementation, issues regular reports regarding the results of specific initiatives and the overall performance of the region’s economy.

  • 2005 Citizen Interviews (3,000 citizens)
  • 2005 Leadership Workshops (1,000 leaders)
  • 2005 Regional Town Meeting I (750 participants)
  • 2006 Community Conversations (13,500 citizens)
  • 2006 Leadership Summit (200 leaders)
  • 2006 Online Choicebooks (1,700 participants)
  • 2006 Make Your Choice (10 Television Stations)
  • 2006 Regional Town Meeting II (900 participants)

Ten of the region’s public and private television stations in Northeast Ohio joined together to broadcast a series of joint reports on the regional economy that were viewed by hundreds of thousands of the people across the region 2006. This 28 minute video includes all of the segments and discussion about the Voices & Choices project.