Tag Archives: community vitality

21st Century Community Building in Depoe Bay, Oregon…where all citizens can make a difference…

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Depoe Bay Harbor…Summer on the beautiful Oregon Coast…

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Depoe Bay City Council with Mayor A.J. Mattila …center…click for larger view…

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News from my hometown, Depoe Bay, Oregon  Quote from the News Lincoln County article…

A way forward on harbor issues –

“Depoe Bay City Councilors, noting that plans to upgrade The World’s Smallest Harbor were going too slowly, decided to initiate a “Harbor Summit” to speed things up. They decided that attending that summit will be the Harbor Commission, the Harbor Master Plan Committee, and the City Council. Several councilors cited what appeared to be irreconcilable differences between members of the two harbor committees, something the city council wants to resolve. The council decided on the summit in order to get everyone around the same table and map out what the council believes are the three biggest issues – the need for new dock pilings, new docks in positions 2, 3 and 4 and improvements to the harbor’s fuel dock.

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I love talking about my hometown, Depoe Bay, Oregon!  Judy and I moved to the Oregon Coast almost 10 years ago and have not looked back.  We’ve been blessed to have lived and experienced rural America, including Leavenworth, Washington for the past 25 years.  Smaller communities offer the experience and culture of volunteerism and community service where all citizens can take ownership and make a difference.  If your heart moves you in later life when there is more time to give back, a rural community offers great opportunity and potential to use wisdom and career skill sets to make a positive impact for the greater good.

Judy and I discovered the “magic” of small town living back in 1991 when we left the stressful life of the big city and a world of a high intensity career that became a “burn-out” by the time we reached our 40’s.  We found our dream first in the mountains of Leavenworth, Washington in the north central part of the region.  This is where we fell in love with small town America and the heartfelt rewards of community service.  Now we enjoy an even greater love for giving back living on the stunning Oregon Coast in Depoe Bay, “The Smallest Navigable Harbor in the World.”  We also love the diversified culture of townsfolk, neighbors, and friends who built this community and those who came here later in life like us.  We are all one family thinking and focusing on a better future for our children and grandchildren.  We all play a part in making a difference while enjoying the treasured and unique experience of living in a coastal community.

We explore the coastal beaches, including our own backyard in Little Whale Cove, with every free moment.  The pounding waves at night put us to sleep.  The mild temperate climate is never too hot or too cold.  The sunny warm days of summer and a break from the rain from winter months make this a paradise we truly appreciate.  The winter storms are amazing to experience and sometimes create a little anxiety when occasionally, winds reach 100 mph on the coast.  We are happy to part of positive human connectedness and spiritual growth in our hometown of Depoe Bay, Oregon…  Please come to the Central Oregon Coast and experience the gift of a natural earth energy vortex…food for your soul!

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click on the highlighted text for my author page…

Councilor, City of Depoe Bay, Oregon

Vote Steve Sparks for Depoe Bay, Oregon City Council, Position 5… Read this important blog post!

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Steve Sparks, Author, Leadership Coach, US Navy Veteran & Children’s Advocate

 

Community Building  Click for more on my recent article, “How to Treat “Silo Disorder,” a Detriment to Community Growth and Vitality…  Quote from article…by Steve Sparks

“I was asked again yesterday, what is meant by my reference to a rural community sickness coined by me as “Silo Disorder.”  For starters click on the highlighted text link that defines a “silo” mostly connected with a farming community where grain is stored in tall cylinder structures close to rail transportation.  My work over the past 25 years in rural community building projects reveals that the greatest challenge and obstacle to overcome at the beginning of any project for the “greater good” is to get our neighbors and community leaders to talk to each other, build relationships, discover teamwork, and find common ground…  We often refer to this process as leadership, but I don’t believe defining leadership initially helps…it is too subjective.  Leadership means different things to folks and the dots are rarely connected unless there is a reference to something tangible and attention getting like “silo disorder.”  If we all stay in our tiny sheltered world of self interests only, we never see the light of day or the bigger picture of what we should be talking about to build community vitality where new opportunities are discovered…where innovation happens…where we begin to find new social investment capital never before realized by creating public private partnerships (PPP)… click for graphic images…”

Depoe Bay, Oregon…”World’s Smallest Harbor”  Click on highlighted text for more…

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Entrance to Depoe Bay Harbor…Click for larger view…

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Depoe Bay “Fleet of Flowers” Celebration… Click on highlighted text for more…

 

Following is my candidates statement found on page 21-11 of the Voters’ Pamphlet… Click highlighted text for Oregon General Election for November 4, 2014…

“I believe in the empowerment of community building and outreach strategies through collaborations and partnerships with local, state, and federal government, public private non-profits, private sector, and volunteers, all critical partners for community growth and vitality. Effective team building and collaborative commitments in Lincoln County have proven to be a successful enterprise, enhancing the quality of life for children and families, especially in education.

As a US Navy veteran from the Vietnam era and a post WWII military child, I am passionate about caring for veterans and families as a commitment to their sacrifice of service to protect our freedoms during all wars past and present. We have an eternal obligation and debt that can never be fully paid back to those who have served America in the military, as a first responder or in  public service.  We can never thank appreciate enough the service of the hundreds of volunteers in Lincoln County who work tirelessly and passionately to make a difference in our community.  The spirit of volunteerism is ever present right here in Depoe Bay.

As a City of Depoe Bay Councilor, I promise to be fair, objective, and compassionate about community service with the goal of achieving the very best quality of life and economic growth for all citizens for generations to come. It is my duty and heartfelt honor to serve!!!

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1…  Click highlighted text for my author page…

 

How to treat “Silo Disorder” as a Detriment to Rural Community Building and Vitality…

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Strategic Philanthropy  Click highlighted text for more…

 

 

NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

Collective Impact

“Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations.”

“Collective Impact!”  Quote from this article from Stanford Social Innovation Review…

“Against these daunting odds, a remarkable exception seems to be emerging in Cincinnati. Strive, a nonprofit subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks, has brought together local leaders to tackle the student achievement crisis and improve education throughout greater Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. In the four years since the group was launched, Strive partners have improved student success in dozens of key areas across three large public school districts. Despite the recession and budget cuts, 34 of the 53 success indicators that Strive tracks have shown positive trends, including high school graduation rates, fourth-grade reading and math scores, and the number of preschool children prepared for kindergarten.”

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Ralls, Texas Grain Silos 2010

I was asked again yesterday, what is meant by my reference to a rural community sickness coined by me as “Silo Disorder.”  For starters click on the highlighted text link that defines a “silo” mostly connected with a farming community where grain is stored in tall cylinder structures close to rail transportation.  My work over the past 25 years in rural community building projects reveals that the greatest challenge and obstacle to overcome at the beginning of any project for the “greater good” is to get our neighbors and community leaders to talk to each other, build relationships, discover teamwork, and find common ground…  We often refer to this process as leadership, but I don’t believe defining leadership initially helps…it is too subjective.  Leadership means different things to folks and the dots are rarely connected unless there is a reference to something tangible and attention getting like “silo disorder.”  If we all stay in our tiny sheltered world of self interests only, we never see the light of day or the bigger picture of what we should be talking about to build community vitality where new opportunities are discovered…where innovation happens…where we begin to find new social investment capital never before realized by creating public private partnerships (PPP)… click for graphic images…

Communities everywhere dream about economic development and improving the community as a popular destination point for vacationers and travelers, including building a much better quality of life for citizens, but can’t seem to make it happen until tearing down the silo mentality and start talking and trusting each other.  We residents and community leaders often find ourselves stuck in the mud for decades because we spend our time picking on each other about the small stuff, and never get to the part where a strategic plan for the greater good comes into clear view.

We have to stop all the silliness and ignorance right now where ever we live and get down to the basics of building a community culture that thrives.  Get all these individual self interest groups, including local government, business, non-profits, schools, colleges, chambers of commerce, home owner associations, young adults, adults, seniors, moms, dads, parents, and grand parents, including the kids to hold hands and start talking… amazing stuff will happen in your community!  Go for it and stop whining, complaining, and blaming.  It takes a village, a team, and strong leadership to build a thriving community.  We have to do this work for the greater good together with common goals and strategic plans…  Start talking and trusting your friends and neighbors and get to work!

Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1 and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story…  Click on the highlighted text for my author page…

and…

Vice Chair, www.neighborsforkids.org, Depoe Bay, Oregon

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Neighbors for Kids, Depoe Bay, Oregon…A public private partnership (PPP)…click for larger view…