Chattanooga is a creative place, one that has reinvented itself time and again over the last forty years. The Stand initiative represents the latest incarnation of our city’s spirit for self-reflection and community betterment.
In 1984, fifteen years after Walter Cronkite referred to Chattanooga as “the dirtiest city in America” on the evening news, a handful of Chattanooga’s leaders formed Chattanooga Venture and launched Vision2000, which set 40 goals for the city to achieve by the year 2000. These goals fell under the categories of future alternatives, places, people, work, play and government and covered everything from strengthening the downtown area to solving existing air, water, and toxic waste problems to creating before and after school programs.
By 2000, many of the original goals had been realized. Chattanooga is now known as “The Scenic City” and in 2008, the city was named by Outside Magazine as one of the best places to live in the US.
Building on the monumental foundation of Vision2000’s initiatives over the last twenty-five years, Stand was conceived in July 2008 by a diverse group of concerned citizens driven to enable a shared vision for the future of their community. CreateHere was honored to sit at that table, and throughout the visioning effort, provided organizational support and people power.
In May 2009, the campaign was launched by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers armed with yellow t-shirts, a website, and several thousand paper surveys. Stand hosted, coordinated and attended events of all kinds, engaging residents in all corners of the Chattanooga region—from shopping centers to house parties to neighborhood gatherings to festivals and rock shows. Over the course of five months, our field organizers created relationships with municipal leaders, organizations, businesses, churches and individuals.
By August 31, 2009, Stand had received over 19,400 responses, officially making the Chattanooga region home to the largest survey-based visioning campaign, surpassing imagineCALGARY’s former record at over 18,000.
As of September 30, 2009, Stand had closed the survey phase of our efforts with 26,623 responses. After months of analysis and coding, the Ochs Center publicly released the results of the survey on April 12, 2010. CreateHere is just one of the organizations partnering to produce meaningful dialogue and action based off of this data pool, and the spirit of civic renewal it has embodied.
To search the entire data pool or to learn a bit more about Stand, visit the visioning effort’s website.