Our Voice: If you see MyTri2030 in your inbox, open it

A group of Tri-City leaders are asking citizens to help set community goals by filling out the MyTri2030 questionnaire.
A group of Tri-City leaders are asking citizens to help set community goals by filling out the MyTri2030 questionnaire. Tri-City Herald

A group of Tri-City leaders looking toward the future needs help with their vision, and they are counting on responses from a community questionnaire to help them focus.

This is a simple ask, and citizens should step up and participate.

So if you get an email or other alerts about MyTri2030, don’t dismiss them.

Take the time to look through the website and answer the questionnaire as thoughtfully as you can, and know that you are helping set goals for the entire Tri-City region. If for some reason you don’t get a link sent to you about this community effort, please go to the MyTri2030 website on your own and answer the questionnaire anyway.

This is a big deal.

The privately funded effort has been in the works for about two years, and is being led by the regional affairs committee of the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Now the visioning plan is at a point where community input is absolutely necessary.

In the past, many potential Tri-City projects have been developed with a top-down approach. Well-meaning people have had some great ideas, but they tossed them to the community without first getting public buy-in, which has not always worked very well (think water park, public market and performing arts center).

What makes the MyTri2030 plan different is that it starts at the grass-roots level and then shoots up and forward.

Backers insist they have no agenda, and that this is not being used to push a certain community event or project.

They sincerely want the community to respond to the questionnaire so they can see what issues really matter to the public, and then they will go from there.

Lori Mattson, president of the Tri-City Regional Chamber, said group members working on the plan have no idea where this effort will lead, but they are excited to find out.

The questionnaire asks people a variety of open-ended questions, including what they would like to see different in the Tri-City region 12 years from now, and what could be a “game-changing” action for the future of the community.

MyTri2030 supporters realize they will get a huge variety of responses, and that’s why they are using the expertise of New Edge Marketing Inc., which has an office in Richland, to help guide the process.

The company has been involved in numerous vision planning projects around the country, including one called Q2030 that was successful for the Quad Cities at the Iowa and Illinois state border. Mattson said the same complexities that face the Quad Cities are also faced by the Tri-Cities.

Our Tri-City name would suggest we are one big cooperative community, but we know that isn’t always the case.

We continually have suggested our region would be stronger if we would pursue goals together. Perhaps, finally, that can happen with the MyTri2030 effort.

Mattson said that they hope to have at least 1,000 responses to the questionnaire by mid-May. Then, with facilitators from New Edge Marketing, community leaders will meet for two days and figure out recommendations and a path forward.

Nothing will happen, however, if people don’t provide the MyTri2030 group with the information they seek. Please, fill out the questionnaire as soon as you can and be part of the Tri-City vision process.

It could turn out to be amazing.