Main Street News - April 2008

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Main Street News Cover – 2008/04

Feature Article:

Bringing a Diverse Community Together: Reaching out to build trust and value

By Norma Miess

American communities are becoming increasingly diverse, and Main Street programs can leverage the opportunities of multiculturalism to build stronger programs and communities. However, the author argues that we shouldn’t ask people of various racial or ethnic backgrounds to work with our organizations for superficial reasons of diversity. She suggests that instead we look for the value and different perspectives multicultural volunteers bring to your program and focus on building the personal relationships necessary to engage a diverse cross-section of the community. The author shares strategies for expanding your outreach, understanding language “barriers,” being flexible in accepting people’s time and resources, taking advantage of the entrepreneurial ethic of people with multicultural backgrounds, and mentoring volunteers.

Network Notes

Former Main Streets Conference Opening Reception performer Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience won a Grammy; The Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association uses mobile marketing to allow customers to receive coupons and special event information on their cell phones; and the NTMSC announces a webinar with Kennedy Smith.

Designing a New Look for Your District

By Donna Dow

The third in a series of articles on the streetscaping process explores the design phase of your project. Steps include doing research and holding public meetings to find out the needs of your district and to engage stakeholders; figuring out the elements of design from ADA-compliant sidewalks to underground electrical wiring; using landscaping to beautify and meet the needs of your district; developing a maintenance plan; working within your budget; creating a timeline; and anticipating possible challenges that could arise during construction.

Orlando: The City Beautiful

By Pauline Eaton

The author talks about the new citywide coordinating program that recently got started in Orlando and takes the readers on a tour of a different side of Orlando neighbors most tourists never get to see.