A Vision for Staten Island has been convening a diverse group of public and private leaders to address the many problems and issues that this borough faces and will continue to encounter as its population grows.

Now, in an effort to gain input from as many sources as possible, this visioning project is seeking to bring the Staten Island community together with Island leaders to create an inclusive and comprehensive vision for the future. The process begins with public Idea-Gathering Sessions, scheduled to be held in various locations throughout the Borough, from December 1, 2008 through December 8, 2008.

“Staten Island stands at a crossroads today. Its growing and diversifying population and gentrification during the past 30 years has changed the borough’s landscape, and continues to challenge its already stressed infrastructure, insufficient amenities and Staten Islanders’ overall sense of community,” Patrick McDermott, Chairman of the Vision for Staten Island Board of Directors, notes.

The process will result in a comprehensive vision that will identify shared goals for all aspects of the Island’s life, and specific steps to implement each goal.

Participants in the Idea-Gathering Sessions will be assigned to small groups; brainstorm ideas for the Island’s future with a trained facilitator, and then clarify and prioritize their ideas.

Adena Long, Executive Director of Vision for Staten Island, says “the Idea-Gathering is geared so that you can speak your mind, there is no pre-set agenda. The public decides what is critical.”

The ideas gathered from all of the meetings will form the foundation of the vision, and help frame the topics investigated over the remainder of the visioning effort, which will continue throughout the spring of 2009.

The schedule of public meetings is as follows:

Idea Gathering Sessions for Adults:

Monday, December 1, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Brighton Heights Reformed Church, 320 St. Mark’s Place

Tuesday, December 2, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
P.S. 58, S.S. Columbia School, 77 Marsh Avenue

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
I.S. 34 Tottenville, 528 Academy Avenue

Thursday, December 4, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Port Richmond High School, 85 St. Joseph’s Avenue

Saturday, December 6, 2008 from 8:30am to 10:30am
Staten Island Academy, 715 Todt Hill Road

Monday, December 8, 2008 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
New Dorp High School, 465 New Dorp Lane

Idea Gathering Session for Youth (16 and over):
Thursday, December 4, 2008 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Cromwell Recreation Center @ Pier 6, Murray Hulbert Avenue (off of Bay and Hannah Streets)

Tomás D. Morales, President of the College of Staten Island states, “It is important that all Staten Islanders share their vision for our community. Come to the session that is most convenient for you, and spread the word to encourage your family, friends, and colleagues to participate. Remember, when it comes to your future, the most important voice is yours!”

For more information on how to participate in an Idea-Gathering Session, call Vision for Staten Island at 718.568.3561.

A diverse group of public and private leaders address the many problems and issues of this borough.