The Blue Grass Community Foundation (BGCF) is once again sponsoring On the Table, an effort to engage the public in issues of importance to Lexington. The topic this year is inclusion, equity, and belonging.
I am writing to encourage neighborhoods and neighborhood leaders to participate. Hosting an On the Table event this year involves inviting people to discuss and bring forward ideas to make Lexington a place that serves and cares about people who are different or in need. Please register for On the Table at https://www.bgcf.org/onthetable.
The date for On the Table this year will be on or about Wednesday, March 27 (Wednesday is great, but BGCF says to set a date that works for you). Anyone preregistered (as a table host or guest) will be eligible to apply for a BGCF mini-grant to take action on the conversation you had at the table ($25,000 available).
As neighborhood leaders, think about including a few issues like:
- affordable housing
- more diverse neighborhoods
- gentrification, displacement
- absentee owners, abandoned property
- equitable public education
- places and activities safe for children
- welcoming parks and street scapes
- public transportation
- people with disabilities
- accessible dwelling units and other types of senior housing
- food deserts (areas without grocery stores)
- sense of place, best-loved places
- keeping alive neighborhood history, culture, identity
- multiple types of housing within neighborhoods
- higher density inside the urban services boundary
Lexington’s Senior Services Commission hopes to use On the Table this year to gather broadly-based public input on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which are garage and attic/basement apartments, backyard houses, etc. added to single-family lots. These are also called Home Expansion Units (HEUs). How does YOUR neighborhood most want to meet the needs of resident seniors, with models of living across the spectrum from aging-in-place to affordable nursing-home care? To get you started, a booklet of options from the AARP perspective (with design illustrations) can be examined and downloaded from this page: Making Room: Housing for a Changing America https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/housing/info-2018/making-room-download-page.html.
All neighborhoods can do to contribute their ideas to the conversation at On the Table on March 27 will be important in guiding the development of LFUCG policy in these areas in the near future: zoning, taxes and fees, incentives, support services etc. In a time of tightening city budgets, finding good solutions and setting priorities is critical. Ideas gathered from On the Table can also be important to the many groups dedicated to community welfare that the Blue Grass Community Foundation serves.
This is your opportunity to express your opinions and contribute ideas to local decision makers! Please participate, especially from a neighborhood perspective. Your voice matters!
Walt Gaffield, President, Fayette County Neighborhood Council, Inc.