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Sit Down at the Big Table

Thousands of local residents will participate in community brainstorming sessions this weekend. Friday and Saturday, the Quad Cities Big Table will be held at more than 200 sites.

One of the organizers, Rene Gellerman, says it's a key part of putting together the Q2030 Action Plan - asking people to sit down in groups or "tables" of 8 to 12, and for about one hour discussing what they like about the Quad Cities and how our region could be improved.

"And we know the way to get lasting change to happen in the community is to have more people around the table - coming up with ideas and seeing themselves as part of the solution and change agents to make our community better."

Participants are encouraged to sit down with people they don't know - hoping new relationships will result in more people being able to work together in the future.

She says the Big Table is based on a similar event held in Columbus, Ohio several years ago. 

"They provided us with some testimonials to the kind of catalytic change they saw in their community when more people sat at the table to figure out how can they themselves, individually or collectively as a small group, do something positive for their community."

The Big Tables will be set up in libraries, museums, churches, colleges, and other locations around the Quad Cities. Each table will have a host facilitating the conversation, and Gellerman says about 5,000 people are expected to participate during the two days.

For more information, and to sign up, go to the website quadcitiesbigtable.com.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.