Last year was a remarkable year for the people of Peoria. We've envisioned our potential as a city and worked together to make that vision a reality. We have great reason to celebrate and talk about our amazing progress and our plans for more in the future. I'd like to share some of our accomplishments made possible because good people with good leadership have worked together to make Peoria a better place to live, work, play, and invest.
- Enhancing quality of life and our ability to attract people to our community. Achievements include the new museum square, featuring the Central Illinois Regional Museum and The Caterpillar Experience, and a major expansion of the Peoria Civic Center and a new Peoria Zoo.
- Creating a learning community. Achievements include broad-based participation in the District 150 strategic plan, involvement of a Youth Education and Learning Task Force, Workforce Development initiatives, growth of ICC North, and enhancement of our school of medicine and Bradley University's national reputation.
- Revitalizing our economy. Achievements include significant progress and developments in our five economic target areas: technology commercialization through Peoria NEXT, intermodal logistics and supply chain management, medical and health care services, agricultural industries and renewable energy, and tourism.
- Providing responsive and responsible government. Achievements include being good stewards of taxpayers' dollars, making our neighborhoods more livable, and building a more vibrant urban core.
- A vision for our future and a plan to get there. Achievements include the comprehensive Vision 2020 plan for the greater Peoria region, which will coordinate the implementation of important achievements throughout our community.
- We share values and work to live them in everything we do. It's not enough to build buildings, grow companies, and provide government services. What will differentiate Peoria from other cities is how we treat others as we work together. By sharing common values and living them on a daily basis, we'll become the best of the best.
Over a period the past several months, hundreds of people from a dozen communities in our region worked together to develop our vision, 21 goals, and a variety of strategies and action plans. Citizen volunteers created the vision and are actively working to make it a reality. We presented our collective vision at a community celebration at the Hotel Peré Marquette in late January.
To assure implementation activities in our region are well coordinated, that efforts aren't duplicated, and that no good idea gets left undone, implementation progress is being overseen by the Vision 2020 Leadership Council, reporting to the Peoria Civic Federation. The Heartland Partnership and Brook E. Spellman Inc. will support their efforts. We'll engage a variety of private, public, faith-based, community, and governmental organizations and community volunteers in support of our implementation activities. We hope you'll join us.
Four community councils are coordinating implementation activities to reach 21 strategic goals identified in the Vision 2020 Plan for the greater Peoria region. Councils include Quality of Life; Youth, Education, and Learning; Economic Revitalization; and Responsive and Responsible Government.
We're a region proud of its diverse people and ideas, and we accomplish great things together. Vision 2020 is a blueprint that will guide us on our journey to make our area the best that it can be. IBI