This afternoon the Watts Community Studio launched it’s first meeting with community-based and faith-based organizations in Watts at the Alma Reaves Woods Library. The team, led by Council District 15’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Alison Becker, presented the project to the group of twenty participants. The presentation covered the project concept and the importance of including the entire Watts community in the development of long-term planning and economic development policy.
The attendees were asked for input on the project, the survey tools and how they envision working with the council district to improve the quality of life in Watts. Councilman Joe Buscaino joined the discussion and agreed with the list of concerns that participants discussed. The neighborhood of Watts has never experienced the type of targeted strategic planning that larger areas like South Angeles have. To develop a long-range plan that targets the needs of local small business, the workforce and integrates the city services and infrastructure improvements that residents prioritize is new strategy from the council district.
The overall message from the team and Councilman Buscaino was that participation from all local organizations and individuals is key because all opinions matter. One of the fun activities the attendees participated in was filling out a small card that asked “Watts is….” and “ Watts needs…” After the presentation and discussion, team member Nicolas collected the responses from the exercise and created a word cloud. To close the meeting, he presented the word cloud to the room. The word that comes up the most in responses is the biggest word on the cloud. So what is Watts and what does Watts need? See below!