'The Future of Downtown' will be focus of next Colorado Springs Community Conversations

By: The Gazette
September 7, 2013 Updated: September 8, 2013 at 6:03 am

"The Future of Downtown" will be the focus this month of the second "Community Conversations" at Colorado College's Armstrong Hall.

The Gazette and Colorado College have teamed with the nonprofit Food for Thought to hold the public forum from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Sept. 17. The first forum, May 9, was "The Homeless Divide" on the issue of homeless people congregating in the downtown area.

This forum will be on recent efforts to revitalize Colorado Springs and efforts to bring more economic development to the downtown area. The Gazette will feature a project on the topic before the Community Conversation.

The "Community Conversations" forums are intended to address larger and often divisive issues that affect the community. They are free and open to the public. As part of the forums, Food for Thought will expand the dialogue and allow residents to offer possible solutions through small-group discussions.

The Gazette also has been presenting opposing opinions and readers' views on issues in its weekly "Community Conversations" on the Op/Ed page.

On Sept. 17, a panel of seven community leaders will discuss the issue surrounding downtown Colorado Springs' future and offer possible solutions. The moderator will be Dr. Daniel Johnson, chairman of the Economics & Business Department at Colorado College.

The other panelists will be:

- Bob Cope, principal analyst, city of Colorado Springs

- Susan Edmondson, president and CEO of Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs

- City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler

- Community leader Dennis Moore

- John Olson, professional architect and part of Urban Intervention group

- Lisa Tessarowicz, co-founder of Epicentral Coworking and community volunteer

The panel discussion will be 6 to 7:15 p.m., followed by the small-group discussions led by Food for Thought at 7:15 p.m.

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