The riverfront masterplan is a work in progress…
FEMA Link to Long Term Recovery Guide –> Click Here
Wanted: Project Champions – Who will provide leadership for each project?
Choosing a champion is an important step in the LTCR (Long Term Community Recovery) planning process. This is a fantastic opportunity for the community to get involved.
What is a project champion?
A project champion is someone who will take the project and move it forward to realize the plan’s goals and community vision. A good choice for a project champion is someone who has shown past interest in the project. A project champion can be an individual or agency, but one person should be designated the point of contact if an agency or organization is named as champion.
What constitutes a good champion?
A good champion will understand the needs of the project and will not pursue inefficient courses of action or go off-course. They will have a clear understanding of the politics that it could take to get the project started and to keep it going. They will be familiar with and able to work with the appropriate entities to accomplish the project. A good champion also will have support within the community – from both the politicians and general public.
Where do you find project champions?
Project champions can be found in a variety of places, and it is up the Recovery Committee, local government, and LTCR team to help identify them.
- Elected official, such as Mayor
- Community members involved in the LTCR process
- Local volunteer, such as head of the local historical society or community group
- Active or influential member of the community
- A community organization, especially for projects related to their interests
- Municipal employees
- Community activists or interests groups
- Members of local professional organizations or associations
- Non-traditional sectors of the community, such as neighborhood associations, the arts community, or other local organizations – depending on project types
- People who participate in the public meetings and speak passionately about a particular project or subject matter, or this person may be helpful in identifying a champion
- Local entrepreneurs and influential business people and the people they recommend
Look at the big picture.
A champion for a particular project should not be selected without consideration for the other projects identified during the LTCR planning process. A good champion for one project may be a good champion for many projects. Resist the temptation to name one person as champion for several projects. A champion’s ability to implement each project will be reduced when his or her time and energy are diluted across several projects.
Some projects may not have champions until the implementation phase has begun, but you should strive to identify a project champion as early as possible in the development of the LTCR process.
The role of a champion – A good champion will:
- Continue to flesh out the details of the project after it has gone into the LTCR plan
- Find ways to attract funding to the project
- Convince others to join in and help bring the project to fruition
- Serve as project coordinator/leader
- Work with the person(s) responsible for LTCR implementation to help achieve all the goals of the project
Once a good candidate is identified, engaging him or her in the project is important. They must buy into the project or they will not carry it forward. Here are several ways to engage them, and they work well in tandem:
- Get the champion involved in shaping the project – help outlining the details
- Involve the champion in public meetings – participation in meetings focused on their particular project will help to shape details and identify others who may share an interest in the project
- Connect the champion with potential funding sources for the project – strengthens the feasibility of the project and encourages accountability.
Multiple champions may be helpful, especially for those projects that are larger in scope or will take longer to implement.