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Please participate in planning for our region's future on May 7

To the editor,
The Steering Committee of Lakes Region Listens encourages local residents to participate in a thoughtful conversation about the future of our communities and our region on Tuesday, May 7th at Laconia Middle School from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Free on-site childcare is available.
Anyone who lives or works in the Lakes Region is welcome to participate and contribute their thoughts about how to make the Lakes Region the best place to live, learn, work, and play for everyone. This event is one of a series of listening sessions being held across the state this spring as part of the Granite State Future project, which will result in the creation of regional master plans for the areas served by NH's nine regional planning commissions. You can register for the event, download the discussion guide that will be used that evening, and learn more about the Granite State Future project at http://nhlistens.org/event/granite-state-future .
Lakes Region Listens started in 2010 as an initiative of the Lakes Region United Way, which sought to stimulate civic engagement on local issues. The Lakes Region Listens Steering Committee is comprised of people who live or work in the Lakes Region. We commit our time to creating opportunities for the general public to have a voice in matters of civic importance. We choose to do this work because we think it is important.
Since mid-2011, we have worked with the Winnisquam Regional School District, the City of Laconia, the Financial Stability Partnership, the Laconia Health & Wellness Academy, Lakes Region Planning Commission, and the NH Office of Energy and Planning to facilitate local community conversations on a wide range of topics. For more information on the work that Lakes Region Listens has done, you can visit our webpage: http://www.lruw.org/index/lrlistens.asp
The conversations that we facilitate are different from public hearings in that they allow people to sit down around a table, learn about each other, and explain their experiences and individual points of view. Public hearings are an important part of our democratic process and they always will be. The conversations that we facilitate further enrich the democratic process by allowing people to share their knowledge and experience at a more detailed level. This allows nuances to be expressed and, sometimes, helps people find common ground on issues that may be polarizing their community. We feel strongly that this kind of dialogue is important to have here in the Lakes Region, and we are honored to serve in this capacity. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, joining the Steering Committee, or serving as an occasional facilitator, please contact Carmen Lorentz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Please consider participating in the regional conversation on May 7th at Laconia Middle School.
Lakes Region Listens Steering Committee
Suzanne Cagle
UNH Cooperative Extension Belknap County
Emily Clement
Local resident and high school teacher
Ed Engler, Co-Chair
Editor & President, The Laconia Daily Sun
Carmen Lorentz, Co-Chair
Belknap Economic Development Council
Carol Pierce
Laconia Human Relations Committee
Jack Terrill
Granite United Way
Shanna Saunders
City of Laconia Planning Director
 
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