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Greater Peoria area leaders bring big ideas to the table

A new report from WalletHub shows Peoria ranks 497 out of 515 cities on a list of fastest growing cities in the country. That means we’re at the bottom.

But an event at the Peoria Civic Center Tuesday hoped to spark growth in the Heart of Illinois.

Leaders and community members literally coming together at a big table to talk about the best ways to improve the Greater Peoria area. The Big Table combines presentations and group discussions on the best ways to keep people in our metro area.

“There’s so many amazing things about our community that a lot of people in this room didn’t know, they’re all leaders within our community,” said Peoria CEO Council Program Director Audrey Kamm. “We’re sharing that information and now we can take that to help recruit people to our neighborhood and communities.”

The strategy was to get these 700 people in one room to put ideas on paper about what could make our quality of life better. These notes will be used to update the Greater Peoria economic development strategy document.

One resident from Peoria’s South Side says talking about our city negatively doesn’t encourage people to live here.

“Bloom where you are planted,” said Daurice Boneta. “Whatever got you here, a job or illness or other circumstances, bloom where you are planted.”

Boneta says no one is expected to transform the city, but everyone can make a small change by talking about their neighborhood in a positive way.

“I was inspired to go back to my community and think of how I can bloom where I am planted, how it could be a positive proponent for our greater region,” said Kamm.

Now that the ideas are put down on paper, we asked how they will be put into action.

“The collaborative organizations are going to take next steps to say what we do with all of this now. I don’t have the exact answer for that, but this was the first step to what we do next,” Kamm said.

All the information from this event will be compiled into data that all of the communities can use next year.



Mike Miletich

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