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Teaming up 32 overlooked counties in 4 states

By Todd Franko (Contact)

Published September 20, 2010

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Feeling ignored by the rest of the state?
Do you live in the forgotten corner?
Do state leaders stop by only for glad-handing, but not so much to hand out checks?
That’s a perception many have in the Valley.
Believe it or not, we have neighbors across state lines who feel the same way.
The new Power of 32 initiative bills itself as “32 counties, 4 states, 1 vision” — and it will launch with a three Valley community forums this week and next:
-- Tonight in Hermitage, 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m, at the Hermitage City Building.
-- Thursday in Canfield at 9 a.m. at St. Michael's.
-- Next Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 6:30 p.m. In new Castle at Butler County Community College.
It’s an ambitious leap to pull together people in overlooked regions of northeast Ohio, western Pennsylvania, the West Virginia panhandle and western Maryland -- but one that could be intriguing.

Here’s the Power of 32 vision statement:
Power of 32 is the largest regional visioning initiative ever undertaken.  Funded by private foundations and corporations, Power of 32 endeavors to help create a sense of ownership of the region and to broaden people's sense of home, to build connections across jurisdictions and sectors, to empower and motivate people to take action for a better future, to magnify the public's voice in public policy, and to achieve true inclusivity. To date, nearly 2,000 regional residents have participated in Community Conversations to voice their visions for the region’s future.  The Community Conversations are the primary ingredient of the Listening Phase of this unprecedented project.
Read more at www.powerof32.org.

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