"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Beautiful Downtown Lewiston

Location: Lewiston, ID

Website: www.beautifuldowntownlewiston.com

Beautiful Downtown Lewiston evolved from efforts of the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce, downtown business and property owners and the City of Lewiston to revive efforts of previous downtown organizations, including the Port City Action Committee.

As participation and interest in the downtown revitalization increased, the organization left the umbrella of the Lewiston Chamber to become a stand alone non-profit organization. Beautiful Downtown Lewiston is a 501(c)3 organization, directed by its own by-laws and board of directors. With support from citizens, property owners, business owners and the City of Lewiston, Beautiful Downtown Lewiston is spearheading the task of revitalizing Lewiston’s downtown district.

Through application of the Main Street Program, Beautiful Downtown Lewiston is working to create a vital downtown district which promotes quality business, cultural and community growth.

Beautiful Downtown Lewiston has adopted the principles of the Main Street™ program, due to its 30 year history of proven success across the United States. The comprehensive four point approach emphasizes:

Organization involves getting all stakeholders to work toward common goals. Proper financial and human resources need to be identified. The basic framework entails assembling a governing board and standing committees. This volunteer-driven design also needs coordination and support from a paid director. The outlined structure promotes cooperation and consensus building, thus providing stability to build and maintain a long-term effort.

Promotion creates excitement downtown. Special events, marketing, advertising and retail promotions all aid in showcasing the district’s authenticity and work toward creating a brand for downtown. In addition, the promotions create consumer confidence in the district, resulting in increased commercial activity and investment in the area.

Design enhances the attractiveness of the business district by capitalizing on its assets. Enhancing appearance, developing maintenance and design management practices, encouraging historic building rehabilitation, incorporating long-term planning are the cornerstones of this piece. Creating an inviting atmosphere where consumers gravitate to shop, work, play and live. Design improvements result in a reinvestment of public and private dollars to downtown.

Economic Restructuring involves analyzing current market forces to develop long-term solutions. Retaining businesses, recruiting new businesses, and sharpening the competitiveness of downtown merchants are examples of economic restructuring. Converting unused commercial space into economically productive property heightens the profitability of the district.

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