HONORING OUR LADY’S MESSAGE OF PEACE, WE WORK AND PRAY FOR THE UNITY OF ALL PEOPLE, AND FOR TRUE AND LASTING PEACE ON EARTH.
Public Outreach Program
There was concern that there might be a problem with getting the Town of Windsor Planning Commission to grant our request for a "Use" Permit for the Prayer Garden. If the people living near the church expressed strong opposition to the Prayer Garden, then the Planning Commission would likely not approve our request for the Permit, and the whole project would be stopped.We decided to take a pro-active approach to this situation by setting up a program designed to prevent neighborhood opposition. Our goal was to demonstrate to the Commission that not only Our Lady of Guadalupe parishioners wanted the Prayer Garden, but we also had the support of the people (and businesses) that reside in the area surrounding the church. Thus the Public Outreach Program came into being.The Public Outreach Program was based on an approach similar to that used in most political campaigns. First identify ("target") the individuals that you want to support your agenda, then develop promotional materials for delivery to these individuals, and finally summarize and present the results of your program. This general approach often is called “canvassing”.For our canvassing program, we decided the targeted group should include persons that attended our church along with the individuals living in the area surrounding the church. We had maps with streets and house numbers for the general area that we wanted to canvass (the area surrounding the church) as well as lists of the name(s) of individuals living at these addresses (public information). We divided the general area into 12 zones, and each zone was assigned to a team of volunteers to carry out the canvassing. We prepared handout materials (in both English and Spanish), signature petition forms endorsing approval for the Prayer Garden (in both English and Spanish), and instructions for the canvassing volunteers that included a script and a log for them to use in recording the results of each contact. This material was assembled into packets for use in each specific zone. The volunteer groups then carried out their canvassing activities over a two-week period. We also had a team that canvassed the businesses operating in the area around the church.In addition to this external canvassing activity, volunteers at the church collected signatures on petitions after each of the four weekend masses and at church meetings.The results of the Outreach Program and samples of the materials used in the canvassing were included in our presentation to the Town of Windsor Planning Commission meeting. We also included copies of the signed petitions. The Planning Commission approved our request for the "Use" Permit and no one challenged their decision. We had our "Use" Permit!____________ADDITIONAL DETAILS OF THE OUTREACH PROGRAM Results of Outreach Program -- click hereMap of canvassed area -- click hereCanvassing handout -- click hereCanvassing instructions and script -- click hereSample of signature petition -- click hereWindsor Times article on Planning Commission Meeting -- click here