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Today is Town Meeting Day in Vermont

Here’s to the Town Hall. We are true believers. Town Hall Meeting Day gives us one more excuse to link to Maira Kalman’s NY Times “And the Pursuit of Happiness” blog for “So Moved:” HERE. It is must read.



Get Local Tallahassee: Deadline to apply to be a KCCI Catalyst is Friday

Learn about it online at www.kccitallahassee.com

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We are big fans of KCCI. It’s an incredible opportunity afforded our community by the Knight Foundation that other communities simply don’t have. If you get chosen to be a catalyst, you join a cool group of local people to imagine and complete a project to make Tallahassee an even better place to live. Every year The Village Square’s OUR TOWN series features the cool work of KCCI catalyst projects in our Fast Forward Tallahassee program.

Surely, you want that to be you? Deadline to apply is Friday. Tick tock.



Tallahassee Democrat’s livestream of “Fast Forward Tallahassee”

If you didn’t catch Monday’s Fast Forward program you’re in luck! Here’s the Tallahassee Democrat’s livestream of the program! Program starts at about 10 minutes in, actual presentations start 20 minutes in.



OUR TOWN town hall meeting: Photos are in!

Find out more about this program and listen to an audio recording HERE. Get on our mailing list so you don’t miss next year’s “Speed Date” click HERE. See photos as a set on Flickr HERE.



Speed Date Your Local Leaders 2013: The photos are in!

Find out more about this program HERE. Get on our mailing list so you don’t miss next year’s “Speed Date” click HERE.



Fast Forward Tallahassee: What’s new? BEST

Screen shot 2013-05-01 at 5.36.22 PMOne of the best perks of my job is that people are always sending me wonderful things. I get the best articles delivered to my inbox almost daily, by a wonderful group of citizens. I’m always flattered that they thought of the Village Square when they think of citizenship.

The perks of our Fast Forward Tallahassee program (next Monday 5.6, register now as we’re filling up fast) are a little different, but just as good. I get cool things sent to me about what’s new in our hometown. Since we’ve started our OUR TOWN series, you should know that I’ve loved Tallahassee more. Here’s the latest thing I love. If you don’t know already, we have BEST. That’s Bike-East-Shop-Tallahassee. It’s a partnership between cyclists and participating local businesses, who give discounts to “healthy customers who don’t clog up their parking lot with cars.”

Win/win.

You can become a cyclist and you can become a participating business.

They take trips, including an upcoming May-cation.

All this creativity made me realize that we need a Bike-Eat-Shop-Tallahassee page on our TallahasseeWiki. We’ve got lots about biking in Tallahassee, we’ve even got “Daycations” and “Staycations.” We hope you’ll join us this summer at CampWiki (all the adventure, none of the bugs) to write some crazy cool pages like BEST.

And we hope you’ll join us for Monday night’s Fast Forward Tallahassee to learn about other new, exciting and creative things going on. Right here. Right now.

Isn’t it great to share a city with creative people?



One week: Fast Forward Tallahassee

web-slideshow-ff2013We’re excited about next Monday night’s Fast Forward program, the second in our new series about the latest, greatest, newest around town. If you missed last year’s you missed a lot. This year you’ll be able to catch FSU President Eric Barron on entrepreneurship at FSU, former Democrat publisher Mike Pate on the newest on our college campuses, Visit Tallahassee’s Lee Daniel on new reasons why people will want to visit Tallahassee, Jay Revell on “Fast Forward Downtown” and more… Check out the whole program and reserve your seat by clicking here. Bring your favorite take-out or grab dinner at one of the food trucks parked outside St. John’s. Oh and dessert and coffee is on us!



USA Today: Residents Make a Date with City Leaders

Screen shot 2013-04-14 at 11.20.49 AMFrom USA Today, by TaMaryn Waters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It wasn’t really a dating scene.

But a non-profit here borrowed the concept of speed dating to allow a dozen officials and leaders to get some face time with about five dozen constituents Thursday.

Some participants quizzed leaders on water and air quality, budget issues, the homeless, development in rural areas, educational programs and police officers in schools. Others said little and allowed the leaders to share unknown facts about themselves or their stance on issues. Read the rest of the article at USA Today.


Watch the Video: HERE



Tallahassee Democrat: Locals bring questions, mingle with leaders at speed dating event

Screen shot 2013-04-13 at 10.57.46 PMBy TaMaryn Waters

It wasn’t really a dating scene.

Although, every seven minutes, a bell sounded to alert a dozen featured officials and leaders that it was time to switch tables at The Village Square’s “Speed Date Your Local Leaders” event Thursday night. The inaugural event attracted more than 60 people, all eager to pose questions and get face time with some of Tallahassee’s most influential people.

Read the entire article at Tallahassee.com



If you missed “Our Town,” catch it Saturday night at 7pm on WFSU 88.9FM

WFSU_10Last week’s OUR TOWN forum featured city and county commissioners and the Tallahassee Democrat’s Bob Gabordi as moderator. If you didn’t catch it then, WFSU will be airing the program tomorrow night, Saturday April 13th at 7pm. Miss that one too? You’ll be able to listen to the program online at WFSU shortly after it is aired.



Tomorrow night! There’s still (a little) room for you to “Speed Date Your Local Leader”

web-slideshow-speed-date We are currently full for this evening. If you’d like to come to St. John’s, we may be able to accomodate you, but can’t promise. Maybe you’ve never tried it yourself, but everyone’s heard of speed dating. First offered by an Israeli rabbi to help Jewish singles find love, now there’s Christian speed dating, graduate student speed dating, even speed dating for pet adoption and – for the truly noncommittal – online speed dating.

But nothing beats civic speed dating.

At a time when interactions between citizens and their government are either increasingly hostile or practically non-existent, it’s probably past time for a little matchmaking. It’s free and we’re even treating for pizza and drinks.

Leaders will rotate from table to table every 7 minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have rated a phone call or public testimony, but are the grist of good citizenship and good governance nonetheless.

If you’re waiting for your civic responsibility to get more entertaining, you’re probably out of luck. Click here to reserve your seat (seating is limited, so suggest you not delay).



PRESS RELEASE: The Village Square and Leadership Tallahassee host ‘Speed Date’ Town Hall

For Immediate Release April 9, 2013

THE VILLAGE SQUARE AND LEADERSHIP TALLAHASSEE HOST ‘SPEED DATE’ TOWN HALL
Citizens invited to interact with local leadership using ‘speed date’ format

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – April 9, 2013 – Maybe you’ve never tried it yourself, but everyone’s heard of speed dating. First offered by an Israeli rabbi to help Jewish singles find love, now there’s Christian speed dating, graduate student speed dating, even speed dating for pet adoption and – for the truly noncommittal – online speed dating.

But nothing beats civic speed dating.

At a time when interactions between citizens and their government are either increasingly hostile or practically non-existent, it’s probably past time for a little matchmaking.

Single or married, this Thursday, April 11, citizens have the unusual opportunity to “Speed Date Your Local Leaders” – enjoying pizza and chatting informally with commissioners, the police chief, superintendent of schools, editor of the newspaper, and other officials.

Leaders will rotate from table to table every 7 minutes, offering each group of participants an opportunity to ask questions or offer ideas that might never have rated a phone call or public testimony, but are the grist of good citizenship and good governance nonetheless.

Co-sponsored by Leadership Tallahassee, the forum is a continuation of the ongoing OUR TOWN series of local issues forums offered by The Village Square, a nonprofit formed by local leaders to improve the civic dialogue. The project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida. The Knight Foundation supports innovative ideas to create informed and engaged communities nationwide.

The April 11 program is from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 211 North Monroe Street. It is free and open to the public, though a reservation is required (participants will print a ticket online). Pizza and drinks will be provided at no charge.

For more information, a list of participating officials and to RSVP, go online to tothevillagesquare.org or call 264-8785. Space is limited.

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Look who’s joining us for Thursday night’s “Speed Date Your Local Leaders”

web-slideshow-speed-dateHere’s who’ll be available to visit with citizens Thursday evening in our first ever Speed Date Your Local Leaders forum (remember, we buy the pizza and drinks…)

City Commissioners Nancy Miller, Gil Ziffer and Scott Maddox; County Commissioners John Dailey, Bryan Desloge, Nick Maddox and Mary Ann Lindley; Tallahassee Democrat Editor Bob Gabordi, Leon County Schools Superintendent Jackie Pons, City Manager Anita Favors Thompson, County Administrator Vince Long, TPD Chief Dennis Jones, and School Board Member Dee Dee Rassmussen. Make your reservation NOW or there won’t be any space left…