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What have we heard from the public?

Middlesex County has partnered with the Rutgers Public Outreach and Engagement Team (POET) to facilitate extensive outreach for Destination 2040, the County's strategic plan for the next 20+ years. The plan will touch on everything that aects our lives in the County from transportation and housing to arts, parks and the environment and whatever is most important to YOU!
Rutgers POET has implemented a variety of outreach events and activities to ensure those who live, work and/or study in Middlesex County participate and provide feedback on what's important to you so that it can be incorporated into the plan.
Below are some of the outreach activities implemented by Rutgers POET to obtain feedback from the public on their priorities:


Community Feedback Boxes

Feedback boxes, small green and white ballot boxes labeled with "Your feedback matters!", were stationed in local libraries throughout Middlesex County. Next to the ballot boxes were question cards asking two simple questions: “What do you like about Middlesex County?” and “What would you change, if you could, about Middlesex County?” Feedback boxes were stationed during the first quarter of 2019 and collected in early April 2019.
These two questions were also included in a quick online form on the County website. Comments and feedback from both the feedback boxes and website were included in the summary report.
Feedback Boxes and Online Comments Summary


Outreach Stations

Rutgers POET visited locations throughout the County to make the public aware of Destination 2040 and chat with residents, employees and students about what they like and would change in Middlesex County.
Rutgers POET has visited the following locations. Summary reports of the feedback gathered from each location are available to view below:

Monroe Senior Center (Monroe, NJ) Monday, 11/19/18
Rutgers College Ave Student Center (New Brunswick, NJ) Monday, 11/26/18
Middlesex County College (Edison, NJ) Tuesday, 11/27/18
Menlo Park Mall (Edison, NJ) Friday, 11/30/18
South Brunswick Public Library (South Brunswick, NJ) Sat, 12/1/18
Woodbridge Career Center (Woodbridge, NJ) Sunday, 12/2/18
RWJ Hospital (New Brunswick, NJ) Wednesday, 12/5/18
East Brunswick Library (East Brunswick, NJ) Wednesday, 12/12/18
Raritan Bay Medical Center (Perth Amboy, NJ) Thursday, 12/13/18
Cathedral International (Perth Amboy, NJ) Sunday, 12/16/18


Public Outreach Report

Set the Table!

Middlesex County and Rutgers POET recruited people who live, work and/or study in the County to host gatherings of friends, family and colleagues to talk about the future of Middlesex County through Set the Table! Hosts received a kit that contained everything needed to host a lively discussion about the county with 5-10 of their own guests, including a $50 stipend for the first 100 hosts to provide refreshments or other essentials to make the party a success! Participants provided feedback on up to 5 topics of the strategic plan that interested them (Environment, Public Safety, Transportation, Economy, Parks & Open Space, Arts & Culture, Housing, Land Use, Public Services & Facilities, Technology & Innovation, Historic Preservation). Kits were also available in Spanish and Gujarati. After the event, the hosts reported back the major points of their discussion on easy-to-use feedback forms. Training sessions for hosts were conducted throughout the county as well as one-on-one trainings at the Rutgers POET oce in New Brunswick. Hosts completed their parties and sent back feedback forms by June 15, 2019.


Set the Table! Summary Report

Targeted Outreach

Using Set the Table!, Rutgers POET provided facilitated discussions about priorities for the county for up to 6 topics of the strategic plan (Environment, Public Safety, Transportation, Economy, Parks & Open Space, Arts & Culture, Housing, Land Use, Public Services & Facilities, Technology & Innovation, Historic Preservation) with high school students, older adults, people with disabilities, veterans and limited English speaking groups from throughout Middlesex County.


English as a Second Language Students Outreach Report
Individuals With Disabilities and Seniors Outreach Report
High School Stufents and Veterans Outreach Report

Storytelling Workshops and Story Slam



Middlesex County and Rutgers POET collaborated with coLAB Arts, a non-profit community arts organization in New Brunswick, for a series of free storytelling workshops. All attendees gained the skills taught by experienced teaching artists from coLAB Arts to craft and perform their own stories, around the theme of Destinations: The people, places and everything in between where you are and where you want to be. Storytellers were then selected for a final performance, Story Slam: Real Life Stories of Finding Your Way in Middlesex County at the State Theatre in New Brunswick. The Story Slam took place on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 7pm.



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