On March 15, 11,700 people came together during small meal-time conversations to discuss what makes Lexington great and what they could do to make it better. The next day, On the Table participants received an online survey that asked about concerns, ideas and solutions that came up during their discussions. Surveys were analyzed by the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at the University of Illinois at Chicago. And now the results are in.
Of the top ten topics most frequently discussed, transportation heads the list. Other top subjects included economic issues and poverty; equity and social inclusion; environment and parks, and housing and homelessness.
A total of 1,464 On the Table participants, or 12.5%, responded to the survey. The overwhelming majority described themselves as very engaged in their communities, frequent donors to charities, and regular voters in local elections. Ninety-seven percent rated Lexington as a great place to live. Eighty-three percent believed they can have an impact in their community. More than 80 percent said they are likely to take action regarding issues discussed at their tables.
Blue Grass Community Foundation, which led the On the Table event, has announced that it will offer $50,000 in grants to help participants act on their creative ideas.
“What’s Next awards will be an investment in great, grassroots ideas that came out of On the Table discussions,” said Lisa Adkins, President/CEO of Blue Grass Community Foundation. “These projects have the potential to make a significant difference in our community. We are very grateful to the Knight Foundation for its support for On the Table.”
Twenty-five grants of $2,000 each will be awarded. Successful applicants will have six months to carry out a local project first discussed during an On the Table event.
“Everyone who formally registered with an email address to be part of On the Table—not just those who returned surveys–are eligible to apply,” said Adkins. She added that registrants will receive an email with more details.
Results of the On the Table Lexington 2017 survey can be found at https://bgcf.org/onthetable/2017impactreport. A summary of the report’s highlights is available, along with a detailed, searchable report.