“Northeast Oklahoma is a unified Region of unique, vibrant, and sustainable communities with abundant natural beauty and rich cultural heritage; where our diverse population takes great pride and accepts responsibility for our future; where innovative leadership is cultivated, children are treasured, meaningful high paying jobs are plentiful, and recreational opportunities abound; the Region of choice to live, work, and play.”
Crucial to regional planning and collaborative development is identification of common interests expressed in this document as findings, results, and action steps. We must understand our regional commonalities, define a regional identity, and develop a strategy for regional growth. It is critical to build both internal and external communication infrastructures to better network, inspire “regional thinking”, and speaks in a united voice to state officials and media outlets. We must build a sustainable organization to carry forth our efforts beyond this generation. The following diagram will display action steps that will help us obtain our general and overall effort for the Region.
Common Voice discussions focused on building a sustainable regional structure and voicing our needs externally:
1. A Sustainable, Community Driven Regional Structure – communities and community leaders must take ownership of this process to achieve sustainability; we are much stronger united than separate; we need an organization to serve as the information and communication gathering point.
2. Northeast Oklahoma Voices its Needs and Wishes in a Variety of Ways, Including through its Voting Power – the population of our Region rivals Tulsa County and our significance as a voting bloc must be demonstrated to local, state, and federal leaders at the polls.
3. Our Broad Regional Plan is Synchronized with more Narrowly Focused Community Plans – the regional plan is intended to be very broad but it is not meant to replace community plans. We must work with communities to develop their own specific plans and work collaboratively to see those community plans come to realization. 4. Our Region Measures its Progress through a Regional Report Card – centralized data collection is key for monitoring our performance and celebrating our successes.