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MADISON, AUG. 24, 2020 –The Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity will hold the first of three virtual listening sessions on Monday, Aug. 31, from 12 to 2 p.m. for rural residents to share ideas and experiences about what it will take to advance rural prosperity for all in Wisconsin.
The commission is asking people who want to share their comments to register in advance by visiting the Office of Rural Prosperity website. Registration is also open for the other two forums, on Tuesday, Sept. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 3 to 5 p.m. Interpretation in Hmong and Spanish is available for all of the forums.
“Before the commission can develop a plan for rural Wisconsin’s future, members want to hear from citizens about what they believe their communities need most to succeed,” said Kelliann Blazek, director of the Office of Rural Prosperity at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “Given the restrictions on public gatherings required by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the many demands on everyone’s time, the commission wants to make it as easy as possible for citizens to participate in this important process.”
In addition to the listening sessions, residents may join the discussion by submitting written comments between Aug. 31 and Sept. 30 on the Office of Rural Prosperity website. Rural stakeholder groups may also arrange meetings with commission members through WEDC.
The commission’s public sessions will be carried live on the Office of Rural Prosperity website, and may also be available on WisconsinEye, if their schedule permits.
Governor Tony Evers established both the commission and the Office of Rural Prosperity in his State of the State message in January. The governor asked the commission to engage and learn from residents throughout the state in order to develop long-term strategies that will “best support the needs of rural Wisconsinites and rural communities.”
The commission aims to collect public input early this fall and then present Governor Evers with a report by Oct. 31 that will help shape the governor’s state budget proposal next year.
More information about the commission, its members and its activities is available at the Office of Rural Prosperity website: wedc.org/rural-prosperity.