League Helps Sioux Falls Launch Planning Effort

“This is an opportunity for the community to cast a vision for the future of our city over the next ten years,” said Mike Lynch, of Forward Sioux Falls, heralding the Sioux Falls Tomorrow 4 Strategic Plan. “When we bring a diversified group together as we have, it places us in a great position to set meaningful goals that will positively impact the Sioux Falls metro.”

The National Civic League, with the assistance of Senior Fellow Derek Okubo, is working with local nonprofit groups in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the city’s mayor on what is being dubbed Sioux Falls Tomorrow 4, the fourth update of a strategic plan created 30 years ago with the assistance of the same Derek Okubo, who was then a League staff member!

The effort is being spearheaded by Forward Sioux Falls with co-leadership from the Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Foundation, Community Foundation and school district, which, together with Mayor Paul Tenhaken, are leading a steering committee overseeing the League’s work. From Mike Lynch: “NCL has provided a framework that allows us to effectively ideate, analyze and advance initiatives that will no doubt, take our community to an even greater level.”

While the steering committee has been active for the past five months creating an outline of the new plan, May 23rd marked the first stakeholders meeting, with approximately 35 community members spending the better part of a weekday afternoon discussing two of the plan’s goal areas, metro cooperation and business development.

With a room representing the full diversity of people and interests in Sioux Falls, Derek facilitated the stakeholders’ first meeting, a productive conversation about community goals. The planning effort is built on a foundation of previous planning efforts that had resulted in 22 plans on various aspects of the community, all of which Derek condensed to underpin the group’s new goals.

Beyond the initial topics of metro cooperation and business development, upcoming discussions will cover topics like ‘vibrant communities,’ with the goal of having a completed plan by August or September. Because previous planning efforts have resulted in positive community change, Derek is optimistic that the new plan will be well-received and implemented. “The people of Sioux Falls who have led and participated in these processes have a great ‘can-do’ attitude,” Derek said. “They come to these processes with a good spirit of cooperation and ownership.”

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