Oswego County Anti-Poverty Task Force
A Partnership of the County Legislature, County School Districts, and Community Leaders

Task Force Blog 3/16/16

The Best Way to Predict Our Future is to Create It!

   We haven't made much noise since our event at CITI in December, but that's not because we haven't been busy. The rollout of our report ended a year of research. Now it's time for action.
    To begin we’re recruiting volunteers. We need passionate and qualified individuals to become team leaders and members. We also need clerical help. Perhaps most importantly, we need fiduciary partners who can fund or administer initiatives.
   To determine what team or specific goals align best with you or your organization, check our teams page to see our team missions and goals.

Our existing teams are focused on Economic Development, Youth and Schools, Workforce Development, Human Services Collaborative, Community Empowerment, Housing, and Substance Use Disorder and Recovery.

   Teams meet as needed and team leaders meet once a month with our steering committee to report on progress and make requests for resources.
   This is a ground-up approach—defining needs, establishing partners and calculating costs—which should allow us to work in many areas at the same time without asking any single entity for a huge amount of money. It should also free us to work quickly and outside of government when that is advantageous.
   One "outside of government" success has already occurred spontaneously. At the end of our event at CITI in December I described a parenting program that both Family Court Judges in the County found useful to help parents understand the triggers of aggression. It ran out of money and was terminated. I told the audience that the program could have an immediate impact on children and I knew that we could fund it.
  At 10:00 am the next morning I took a call from the Oswego YMCA. I was told that the Oswego Masonic Lodge would fund the program and the YMCA would administer it, host the training and provide free daycare for the children of attendees, an incredible example of what can happen with new alliances. This one happened literally, overnight.
  At a recent meeting to discuss the work of the task force I opened by saying, "The best way to predict your future is to create it." After attributing the quote to Abraham Lincoln, I repeated it, changing it slightly to "The best way to predict our future is to create it."
  That is the opportunity we have now, to change the future of Oswego County. We can test new methods and practices. We can create collaborations where barriers existed before. We can identify broken policies and fix them and we can make the best use of our greatest resource, our incredibly talented people. With hard work, passion and faith we can have a profound impact on the future of Oswego County. That is our opportunity and I invite you to join us in the process.

--Roy Reehil, Chair
Community Health and Poverty Reduction Task Force
Email: info@oc2030.org

Previous Blog Post: Envisioning Oswego County in 2030

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