Envision Littleton Speaker Series

On February 27 the city hosted the first in a four-part speaker series to kick-off Envision Littleton efforts in 2019. Attended by more than 80 community members the speaker series was designed to complement the robust community engagement that citizens have come to expect with Envision Littleton. In 2018, Envision Littleton engaged more than 5,500 people to shape the unifying vision and guiding principles unanimously adopted by city council on December 18, 2018. “The response to adding this type of programming has been tremendous,” said City Manager Mark Relph during his welcome remarks, “with the event filling up in just a couple of days.” Speaker Series #1 was a chance to compare and contrast key data points for the city with the greater region and state with expert Chris Akers, Economist for the State Demography Office.

The most heartwarming moment of the night was a guest storyteller. Aubrey Weaver, a sophomore at Heritage High School, has spent “all 15 years of her life here in Littleton.” Weaver’s story was accompanied by photos and memories from some of the most iconic Littleton events and gatherings. Weaver’s story was broadcast on Facebook Live and continues to be posted on the city’s Facebook page. Weaver closed her remarks by adding, “I know wherever college or life may take me that Littleton will always be here with the same energy and good people that have always been here when I come back. I wouldn’t trade my memories of life here in Littleton for anything in the world.” Attendees also tested their knowledge of Littleton with a short quiz about key data that describe the people,
environment, jobs, and transportation in Littleton. Participants voted using colored cards. This same trivia will be featured as part of Envision’s social media engagement over the next few months so that more people will have the chance to test their knowledge of the city. Envision Littleton concluded phase one of the project in mid-March so the opportunity to think broadly about the people, jobs, economy, and overall trends with Akers.

It is a best practice to start long-range planning with an overview of the community based on demographic, household, and employment information. This helps a city see the past and present to understand the changes taking place and understand if there are any trends. In covering the big picture, Akers said, “if you think about it, Littleton is right in the heart of the growth we’ve seen in Colorado.” The entire powerpoint presentation is available at envisionlittleton.org and the recorded program is available on the city’s youtube channel as well as channel 8. The next in the speaker series will be in mid-April with expert Darin Atteberry, City Manager of Fort Collins, Colorado. Atteberry’s career in local government has been defined by excellence, innovation, taking organizations to the next level, and making sustainable improvements to the communities he has served. Under his leadership, Fort Collins is only the third municipality to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. More information about registering for future speaker series sessions will be available at envisionlittleton.org.