New Year, New Plans
RenewLV experienced a year full of events and changes in 2011. We held our first State of the Lehigh Valley report release luncheon in January 2011 to highlight the findings of our friends at the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium (LVRC). We held community forums about regional rail, sustained discussions about water and wastewater infrastructure, and kept alive the proposal for the state’s first bi-county health bureau with an excellent presentation by our partners in October. We were pleased to be awarded a 3-year, $3.4 million HUD grant as a partner in the Lehigh Valley Sustainability Consortium in November.
RenewLV has also experienced some major changes over the past year. A new executive director, Pam Colton, and a new campaign coordinator and community fellow, Rachel Bradshaw, joined the team in the latter half of 2011 after previous staff members left to pursue other opportunities. It has been a tumultuous year, but we are ready for the opportunities and challenges 2012 has for us.
Both Pam and Rachel have hit the ground running pursuing smart growth and smart development initiatives across the Lehigh Valley. The bi-county health bureau initiative was tabled in October, but with the newly elected Northampton County council members and Lehigh County commissioners sworn in, we look forward to greater success as the issue is revisited at the annual Health Commission meeting on Monday, January 9. We continue to push for regional governance and shared services, particularly in the Slate Belt region of the Lehigh Valley. With so much redundancy of governance and in light of ever-shrinking budgets, it is a good time for municipalities to explore opportunities to work together in some areas. RenewLV will be moving forward with its plans for community forums and public participation with the HUD grant awarded in November in partnership with the other members of the Lehigh Valley Sustainability Consortium. The progress of our community will be highlighted at the second-annual State of the Lehigh Valley report release event to be held February 15, 2012, which we hope will be even more successful than last year’s event.
Yes, 2012 holds a great deal of promise for RenewLV and the whole Lehigh Valley. There are many on-going iniatives being executed throughout our community this year. Get involved and have your voice heard. For more information on any of our upcoming events or for how you can get involved in any of our initiatives, visit our website or call us! Here’s to a better and brighter Lehigh Valley in 2012! Cheers!