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Action Model Toolkit

Section 4

Keep the Project Moving

Now that you have an initial Action Model, learn how to finalize it and follow it through. After you’ve come so far, you don’t want to let your redevelopment project stall out.

Dividing up Tasks

Have a second workshop.

At this point, it’s usually a good idea to hold a second workshop with your Development Community to complete the Action Model.

  • In the first meeting, you work through the 4 steps of the Action Model.
  • In the second meeting, about a month later, you tackle more specifics.

In your second meeting, you might finalize the wording of your Action Model, add input from new members or the community, and divide up tasks.

Create stewardship.

Supervising the project, keeping an eye on it, and moving it forward is called stewardship. People who take on this role are stewards.

Stewards can get your project across the finish line, which can take months or years. You may want to vote to elect a stewardship team, or committee. The team will:

  • Create a timeline
  • Guide meetings
  • Track your progress
  • Create updates for the rest of the team

Just the act of recording data can inspire change. In Blue Island, Illinois the community measured the number of recreational programs they had available and found only 12. That inspired the Park District to take action. Less than two years later, they had over 100 community programs.

Assign roles.

Give people clear responsibilities. As long as each person knows what she should be doing, your project is more likely to succeed. Creating smaller groups (sub-committees) can help divide up the work.

For instance, you could form sub-committees focused on:

  • Availability of healthy food options
  • Safety and security
  • Economic development
  • Environment
  • Physical and mental health
  • Infrastructure (like buildings, sidewalks, and parks)

Finding Community Support

Where can I get help to keep the project going?

Look outside your Development Community for help. Try contacting:

  • Local high schools, colleges, or universities. Some may offer credit to students who take part in your project. They may be especially helpful with tasks like recording data about the effects of your project. The enthusiasm and vision of younger people can motivate everyone else.
  • Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship. See if these small, connected communities have members who want to help.
  • Local government. You might get support from the local health department or department of parks and recreation.

Tip: In some redevelopment projects, middle school, high school, and college students are in charge of tracking local grocery stores and community gardens. It’s a way of finding out if a community has access to healthy foods.

Share your Action Model with the community.

One way to get feedback, create excitement, and find more help is to post the Action Model on a website. Give your community a chance to see it and comment on it.

You can just set up a free blog site yourself, but it’s often best if the city or local health department puts up the website and maintains it. That will show the public that the project has official support. For an example, check out this page about the Blue Island, Illinois Action Model and Community Health Monitoring program on the city’s website.

Take next steps.

The next section can be key. It’s about getting grants that may help you turn your Action Model into real, lasting change in your community. Learn how to track down resources that might help.

Next: Look into Funding

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