A quiet but significant turning point was reached on September 2nd.
That evening, the Varsity Club at the Citrus Bowl hosted the second West Lakes Council Community Update meeting. The event marked a quiet, yet significant, milestone for LIFT Orlando from a community organizing standpoint.
The community organization that led this meeting, The West Lakes Council, is a council made up of six neighborhoods in the West Lakes area. This council is run by resident leaders of these communities. It is now run completely independent of LIFT Orlando or any other outside organizations.
The first Community Update meeting back in May 2015 was significant because it was the first time the resident leaders convened. Although it was successful, it was a meeting of many questions. There was a great deal of uncertainty as to the change occurring in this historic community. The impetus for change was placed deeply on how the council would unite and guide the coming development for their community.
This Community Update was special for several reasons. The primary reason was due to the incredible leadership of the West Lakes Council members. Council members were the ones who were on stage, in-charge and guiding the direction of the neighborhood. The council proved that they were up to the task of guiding six varied neighborhoods. Everyone in the room was either on board, wanted to be on board or could see that this train was moving ahead and was worth getting on board. The feeling in the room was wonderful.
Everyone present was in agreement that being connected and organized is essential to the success of their collective future. Almost everyone in the room stated being recipients of key community information, passed through the West Lakes Newsletter. Overall, the meeting was a positive, engaging and forward-looking meeting.
Here, Alice Leech, the first person to recommend the name "West Lakes" for the neighborhoods, is addressing the audience about the fact that "change is coming and change is good." This thought was clearly communicated by the resident leaders and has spread to the community at large.
Longtime, well-respected community leaders said: "I want to be part of this council" at this meeting. People like 4-star Navy Admiral, David Brewer and former Miss America, Erica Dunlap, were eager to come on board. Even the man pictured below, David Rucker, former President of the Washington Shores Area Association, showed his support for the council.
All of this is to say THANK YOU.
- Thank You West Lakes Council: You have continued to show courageous leadership and are paving an incredible future for your community.
- Thank You to Our Partners: You are helping change communities for generations. Your support and input is foundational to all we do and all we have done.
- Thank You to the Polis Institute: Phil Hissom and his team continue to exceed our expectations in their wonderful work, their keen insight and their profound dedication to good.
- Thank You!: Yes, you! Your continued interest in the ongoing community development in West Lakes is helping put a focus on the incredible assets that each community has.
There's much good ahead. Stay tuned for the amazing things happening in the neighborhoods of West Lakes.