Archived Story

Vision: 4K ideas will be trimmed to 100

Published 11:04am Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The youth of Austin are having their say in how the community will move forward.

Of the 21 Vision 2020 Idea Selection Committee members, six are high school and college-aged residents.

“This is a vision for 2020,” said Laura Helle, executive director of the Hormel Historic Home and Vision 2020 volunteer. “This is that much more important for younger generations.”

Members felt honored to help their community.

“With my background, I have a good idea of what the community needs,” said Karem Salas-Ramirez, Riverland first-year student. Salas-Ramirez spends much of her time volunteering around town. She said she was looking forward to the idea selection process and hoped to see ideas that could bring people together.

Many members were pleased the community’s youth were represented in a large way.

“Young people have just as much say,” said Gabe Kasak, Austin High School student. “We’re going to be living here just as much as the older people of Austin are.”

The Idea Selection Committee will meet for the first time Tuesday, Nov. 1. They will pour over more than 4,300 ideas, according to Helle, for the next month. The committee will narrow those ideas down to the top 100, which residents can vote on from Dec. 1 to Dec. 31 via ballot or online.

“They’ve got a lot of raw material to work with,” Helle said. “It’s going to be tough.”

A youthful perspective

Though each candidate brings experience and wisdom to the table, the young members of the Vision 2020 Idea Selection Committee believe the skills they have will help the committee find the right ideas for Austin. None of them have seen many specific ideas yet, but all of them are open to good ideas.


Karem Salas-Ramirez
“(I want to see) ideas that can help bring people together, get everybody interacting with one another. Integration is a good thing. We’re all different but we each make up the community. Diversity is a good thing.”







Olivia Grev
“I haven’t heard of many ideas yet. I would say (I want to see) things that are going to benefit everyone.”







Gabe Kasak
“(I want to see) ideas that bring in new things to Austin. Things that are going to have a high demand here. It’s going to help the economy and bring more money into Austin.”






Matt Lunning

Matt Lunning
“I agree with Gabe. (I want to see ideas that) Bring in things that will add to Austin’s character. We should be working on keeping people here.”






David Albino
“I would say (I want to see ideas about) the arts. We have a very vibrant arts community … but there’s not too many big opportunities for (students) to continue doing arts here.”

Edgar Garcia
“Having buses. We need buses for people that are farther than 2 miles out of town so they can get to places like Riverland, especially in the winter. Some people don’t have transportation to the schools and their jobs.”


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