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JCCI looks ahead to 2025 as it launches community project

by David Chapman, Staff Writer

Jacksonville Community Council Inc. launched JAX2025, its community-led effort to develop a vision for the city for the year 2025, this morning with the hope of receiving 10,000 visions from local participants.

Those visions will come from responses to a 15-question survey available to the public at jax2025.org.

“We’re expecting a lot of input from a lot of people,” said Ben Warner, JCCI president and CEO.

Questions include opinions of the quality of local education, housing, job training and workforce preparedness, availability of health services, physical infrastructure and natural environment, among others, that will be ranked on a “very satisfied” to “not satisfied at all” level.

The survey also includes written portions, where responders can explain their feelings about Jacksonville’s bigger challenges, particular likes and dislikes and how it rates as a place to live.

Survey results will then be analyzed, categorized and studied over the next several months and a collective product highlighting a community vision will be established and then presented during a community meeting in January, Warner said.

Though groups and organizations have presented their own visions throughout the past 20 or so years on various Jacksonville issues, Warner said the JAX2025 product is broader and will engage the entire community. Warner said JCCI has also collected the 200-plus past studies from different and individuals to review as part of research.

He said 2,000 people are expected at the January meeting, titled “It’s your city! What will it be like in 2025?” at the Osborn Center. During that meeting, stations will be arranged to optimize public comment, feedback and ideas on the product, Warner said.

It will be further crafted in meetings scheduled for Feb. 2, March 19 and April 27 before a scheduled May 28 release.

Warner said JAX2025 results will also differ from past studies with broad appeal.

“We’re not just creating a vision. It’s our responsibility to implement,” he said.

Implementation of such studies generally requires funds, which Warner said has been raised from local individuals and businesses. He did not disclose how much has been raised or who offered financial support. No public funds will be used.

“It’s not just two years. It’s the next 12 years,” Warner said of the implementation period.

JCCI worked with leaders in San Antonio to create that city’s SA2020 vision program and Warner said the goal is to implement local similar results.

SA2020 CEO Darryl Byrd was the keynote speaker of today’s JCCI JAX2025 kickoff event.

The San Antonio vision identified 11 areas that include: arts and culture, community safety, downtown development, economic competitiveness, education, natural resources and environment sustainability, and transportation.

Warner said he expects people to name some of the same areas, such as education, public safety and health services, in the JAX2025 survey as important areas, but that an unexpected idea or two tends to emerge with each new city.

“New topics are going to pop up,” he said.

dchapman@baileypub.com

356-2466

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