DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Dayton is trying to anticipate challenges in the coming decade. The goal of Tuesday’s “Dayton in a Decade” event was to proactively work on solutions for whatever comes next.
More than 70 of the city’s most influential community leaders work-shopped for hours, targeting more than a dozen key focus areas the city needs to address over the next 10 years.
“What kind of city do we want to be in 10 years? What are we really about? When you have those kinds of events happen it’s really the most perfect time,” says Mayor Nan Whaley.
The City of Dayton is looking inward and to the future after the mass shooting, but the “Dayton in a Decade” movement started well before the tragedy.
At an hours-long discussion Tuesday, professional futurists tried to help the city think about the year 2030 by fleshing out potential problems that may arise in the next 10 years.
“There’s a recognition that, not just in spite of but because of, the challenges and tragedies of the last several months, that there needs to be another layer of conversation,” said Stuart Candy with Carnegie Mellon University.
Dozens of breakout groups focused on several specialized areas, including the future of the economy, police and law enforcement, race relations, and socioeconomic justice.
The mayor says the city needs to prioritize mental health because many people have recently faced a lot of trauma.
“I think there’s big opportunities for us as a community to treat mental health in a way we treat other diseases,” she said.
No immediate changes are planned as a result of the workshop, but Mayor Whaley says the city will analyze the information generated to determine what action they take next.
“I think that it could easily be that something does come that will be something that could affect policy.”
When asked where Mayor Whaley sees herself in ten years, she said hopefully in the same house, with the addition of a dog.
She would not elaborate on her own political future, only saying she’s happy to be here.