The Manifesto Project in Avondale

As mentioned in this post, Gangplank Avondale also hosted an event as part of the Manifesto Project. The Manifesto Project is intended to gather the voice of a generation. Manifesto Project events took place all over the State of Arizona in over 50 cities and towns. On August 21st, we gathered at Ganglank Avondale for a fun night with young leaders from the West Valley visioning for the future of the Arizona.

In the last month, Gangplank Avondale regulars have been working hard to update the look of their space. In the hours before this event, an awesome group of young leaders rallied together to serve their community in assembling the furniture for our upstairs space. Here is a sneak peek at how the space looked before the event:

photo 17 The Manifesto Project in Avondale

We started out the night with tasty burritos from Cabelleros Grill and sharing stories. In fact, we decided that we don’t spend enough time just having fun together so watch for more social events in the future!

photo 15 The Manifesto Project in Avondale

After socializing, we dove into the visioning part of the event.
photo 81 1024x768 The Manifesto Project in Avondale

So what do the West Valley’s young leaders want to see for Arizona?

-Public transportation connecting all major cities.
-More connection between people/ more engaged residents.
-A thriving entrepreneurial community.
-Continued progressive cross city development and more technology.
-An awesome music scene.
-More cutting edge businesses. More innovation and invention.
-Better food culture.
-More cultural areas.

We concluded the night with personal expressions of how we will lead the change. Avondale’s young leaders declared that they will lead the change they want to see by:

-being present
-creating opportunity
-encouraging people to take action and stop finding excuses
-casting my vote each day with every action I do and don’t do
-jumping at every opportunity presented to me, networking, and staying social

The SNAP Experience : National Hunger Awareness Month

September is National Hunger Awareness Month. From September 3-9, Arizona Community Action Association (ACAA) is sponsoring the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Experience, a week long real-life experience living on just $29 for food, the same as a typical SNAP participant. This experience helps provide a slim view into what it is like to live in poverty. Helping people change their circumstance starts with local community awareness and support.  Help change your community by participating to raise your own awareness.

In Arizona, 1 in 5 people struggle with hunger every day and 1 in 4 children live in food insecure households. SNAP, the federal Food Stamp Program, is our nation’s first line of defense against hunger, helping put healthy foods on the table when Arizonans would otherwise go hungry. SNAP is a critical bridge to help individuals and families establish financial stability so they can move out of or away from poverty.

SNAP is intended to supplement the monthly food budget, although we know that many households rely solely on SNAP to purchase food.   We also know that SNAP can only reasonably cover about 70% of monthly food costs and average food consumption per person.

SNAP Experience participants are encouraged to use only $29 to pay for all food costs for the week.  However, you can supplement the $29 budget with a maximum of $12 more for food purchases not typically permitted on SNAP (hot and prepared meals or alcohol products, for example). SNAP Experience participants who choose this option are asked to not exceed $41 in total weekly expenses, and to track how the additional $12 is spent.

The SNAP Experience goal is to increase awareness about poverty and hunger in Arizona through a meaningful personal experience and to draw media attention to the hardships faced by those living in poverty. While this experience cannot give us a true sense of living in deep or prolonged poverty, it can provide insight into some of the challenges families confront.

For more information about the SNAP Experience, please contact  Angela Schultz at aschultz@azcaa.org or by phone at 602-604-0640.  To participate in the SNAP Experience, please register online . Please register for one or all SNAP Experience options that interest you. 1) only the SNAP Experience, 2) the SNAP Experience and the additional $12 supplement; 3) SNAP Experience media events, and 4) ACAA’s SNAP Experience social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Help to elevate the issue of hunger into the public discourse, whether by participating yourself in the SNAP Experience, being aware of the information ACAA provides about others participating in the SNAP Experience, or spreading the word to those you know about this opportunity.

Chandler Museum Presents “Rollin’ : Me and My Car”

Museum Delfina Vega 19511 Chandler Museum Presents Rollin : Me and My Car

Copyright Chandler Museum

Arizona is famous for its car culture. Most Arizonans love to drive. We host one of the biggest car auctions in the world and are the epicenter for local builder innovation. The Chandler Museum has new exhibit that showcases the special relationships local residents have had through the years with their cars. The “Rollin': Me & My Car” exhibit takes you down memory lane, showing Chandler families and their cars.

“As we looked through our photograph collection, we noticed a universal theme; people love to take pictures with their cars,” said Museum Administrator Jody Crago. “The exhibit shows a variety of makes and models of historic automobiles, and their owners and other people posed in the photos.”

The Museum wants you to participate saving todays memories for tomorrows museum. You can share your favorite photo of you with your automobile on the Chandler Museum Facebook page, Twitter, or Pinterest with the hashtag #rollinmeandmycar. Photos can also be sent through email to chandlerpedia@gmail.com, and the museum staff will add the photos to the exhibit.

“Rollin’: Me & My Car” is on view at the Chandler Museum through November 16. The museum is located 300 S. Chandler Village Drive. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

By the way have you seen the Chandlerpedia Wiki? The more you know!

Obama Visits Chandler to Promote Better Bargain for the Middle Class

Today President Obama visited Chandler to promote homeownership and his “better bargain for the middle class“. Obama is no stranger to Chandler. He visited in January 2012 to celebrate the construction on Intel’s new fabrication facility. Erickson Construction got to spend some time sharing with him the current state of the industry.

6763275309 168f4de1b8 z Obama Visits Chandler to Promote Better Bargain for the Middle Class

Copyright Nick Knupffer

Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said it well, “The East Valley is really the perfect backdrop for anyone wanting to showcase what is good about our country. Strong family values, an economy that is emerging from the Great Recession with dynamic job growth, and a quality of life that continues to remain unsurpassed. It is nice to see that the president embraces all that is positive about the region and continues to promote the East Valley for all that is good about America” (via East Valley Tribune)

I think we have something to learn from Obama’s wise words. He said, “Phoenix has also led one of the biggest comebacks in the country. You should be proud of what you’ve done here.” We have a fighting spirit and are investing in our community. Chandler is the epicenter of the new economy in Arizona. There is something special going on here, join us in helping make it continue to rise. #whyAZ

Chandler Named “Playful City USA” Community For 7th Straight Year

We are proud to acknowledge that KaBOOM! has named the City of Chandler a Playful City USA community for the 7th straight year. Recognizing the effort to provide children ample opportunities for play.

playground Chandler Named Playful City USA Community For 7th Straight Year

Copyright Ronn Tan

Play is essential to the social, emotional, cognitive and physical well-being of children. We are proud to have our Health, Local and Junior initiatives working with the city to provide opportunities and guide policy that encourages play. It is fantastic to see the lack of play in this generation of children being addressed the mayor, council, staff, school district and community.

“Quality parks, playgrounds, and aquatic centers have been a Chandler priority for decades, because we value families and we want our children to have opportunities for fun and fitness,” said Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny. “We are committed to developing healthy, fulfilled children and families, and that’s why we are honored to be recognized as a Playful City USA for the seventh straight time.”

Sometimes it is easy to forget that children spend nearly eight hours a day in front a screen, many have no or little recess time and one in five children don’t live within walking distance of a park. Chandler has been actively creating innovative programs and initiatives to combat these problems by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community.

Chandler is now eligible for grants via Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide.

Local Initiative Improving Chandler Through Public Space

The Urban Times has a great piece on “10 Ways to Improve Your City through Public Space“.  It speaks volumes to the work we are trying to do with the Local Initiative in Chandler.  So lets take a look at what we have done to strengthen these areas.

1. Improve Streets as Public Places

When we first came to downtown Chandler we helped push for the widening of pedestrian ways, including adding benches and trees for shade.  In fact, it won an International Downtown Association Award. We have pushed for the city to close Arizona Avenue on a more regular basis for events starting with the Chandler Block Party.  We have a long way to go, but we are making a dent.

2. Create Squares and Parks as Multi-Use Destinations

We have worked with the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership to strengthen the Chandler Farmer’s Market and the Chandler Art Walk in the historic town square and AJ Chandler Park.  We have encouraged a number of events and expansion of the park to include a stage for 10,000+ person events such as the Great American BBQ and Beer Festival.

3. Build Local Economies through Markets

Once again the Artwalk and Farmers market are key examples, but Gangplank itself is an example of a bustling market for ideas.

4. Design Buildings to Support Place

We are working closely with the City on a number of RFPs for new building and have been active in zoning, adaptive reuse code and encouraging of pedestrian flow to connect all parts of the downtown area including access to public transportation.

5. Link a Public Health Agenda to a Public Space Agenda

We have failed here.  We have tried a number of attempts to various bicycle depots and other connectivity.  We have been moderately successful with the Gangplank Mile (GP Health) getting people out of their office and walking around downtown.

6. Reinvent Community Planning

Between City Camp AZ, Vibrant Phoenix, The Manifesto Project and various other events we have significantly changed the engagement level of residents by including them in the process of defining the future.

7. Power of 10

Gangplank, San Tan Brewing, Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler Library, Vision Gallery, Paletas Betty, Vintage 95, Bourbon Jacks, and more.  We are getting closer, but still working on this one.

8. Create a Comprehensive Public Space Agenda

We have started discussions with the City but it is slow going.  Change is hard.  We have a few things up our sleeve.

9. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Start Small, Experiment

We recently did a community garden using a neighbors front  yard.  We have done pop up events and played with space.  We can do better here but we are trying.

10. Restructure Government to Support Public Spaces

It is hard, but it is happening.  We meet with the city every two weeks and share ideas and explore new possibilities.  Working towards a relationship of mutual respect and trust in building great public space together.

I am also President of the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership so my work with the Local Initiative and the DCCP blurs greatly.  The Local initiative has a direct influence on the work in every way.

What are you doing for your community?

Gangplank Avondale Feature in Arizona Health and Living Magazine

Things continue to keep buzzing at Gangplank!  We have recently had the privilege to be featured in the June issue of Arizona Health and Living magazine.  Michelle Talsma Everson spent some time with Co-Director Cody Landefeld and C0-Founder Derek Neighbors to discuss the vision for Gangplank Avondale along with some commentary from City of Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers.

Click here to check out the magazine online (contains flash embed)

Thanks again to Arizona Health and Living for their support and interest in our community!

-codyL

Chandler Photo Throwdown Awards

Back in April, Gangplank received a $500 grant from the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation for a photography event celebrating Historic Downtown. That grant became the Chandler Photo Throwdown.

Downtown Chandler was divided into 20 grids. 20 photographers were selected and given three months to submit a minimum of one photo per grid. The result? More than 650 photographs were submitted displaying both the beauty and occasional oddities of Chandler.

Those photos were eligible to win one of five awards (linked to winners):

Additionally, each photographer chose their best photo to be framed and matted as a token of their participation in the event.

The winning photographs, as well as each photographer’s chosen shot, will be displayed in Gangplank during the Chandler Block Party this Saturday. The five award photographs will be put up for silent auction to benefit the Downtown Chandler Community Foundation.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the people’s choice award, as well as supported these amazing photographers as they braved the summer heat to capture every inch of Downtown Chandler.

Participating Photographers:

Claire Marilee
Mercedes Cantu