Our Progress

Candidate Development Institute Graduates Class of 2017

  October 2017 Candidate Development Institute (CDI) participants recently completed the six-week course held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday, September 19 -October 24 at the Alliance, 510 Main Street. Those who met attendance requirements graduated from the Institute on October 24. Participants heard over 12 speakers on an array of

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Lafayette Woods, Jr.

Reason for enrolling in the Institute: My reason for enrolling into the CDI was to broaden my knowledge base of the process involving political campaigns in order to achieve political effectiveness as I seek the Office of Sheriff in 2018. I further hope that the combination of knowledge gained enhances

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Lelan Stice

To learn out the election process, how to fund a campaign, and how to better support candidates that are running. Great networking event.

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Sederick C. Rice, Ph.D

Reason for enrolling in the Institute: I enrolled in the Candidate Development Institute (CDI) to receive structured training on conducting a successful political campaign.  I also saw this opportunity, sponsored by Go Forward Pine Bluff and the Alliance, as way to gain some unique and important professional development experiences.  

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Leslie Mitchell

I enrolled in the Institute to help better my campaign strategies. I am not a political person, but I have helped in several campaigns. By attending this Institute, I knew I would become aware of different aspects of the campaign process that may go unnoticed. I loved being able to

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Alderman Bill Brumett

Since I have been a candidate in several campaigns, I enrolled to learn about any changes in the election process and new ideas to make me a better candidate and councilman.   The most valuable thing that I experienced was the positive personal interaction with the others in the institute. I felt

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Phase 1: Jan 2017 – Sept 2018

The Community Garden initiative, to be located on the grounds of the former Davis Hospital, is underway under the leadership of Mayor Washington who secured a partnership with the Agricultural Extension Office for funding of the initial phases.

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Phase 3: Oct 2019 – Sept 2020

The King Cotton Basketball Tournament was once the attraction to local and nationwide teams. A group has been working on reestablishing this tournament which will attract many out-of-town visitors. We need to have amenities in place, such as hotels and food establishments, before a tournament of this magnitude can be

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center (ACDC) under the direction of Steve Luoni is working on the Downtown Master Vision and Plan and working with Pine Bluff Downtown Development and Bayou Rhythm & Blues and other groups to ensure we have a viable cultural and historic district to attract

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Phase 1: Jan 2017 – Sept 2018

The University of Arkansas Community Design Center (ACDC) under the direction of Steve Luoni is working on the Downtown Master Vision and Plan. Steve and his team completed 3 listening sessions during the month of August and together with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) will use the ideas and

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November 2017

EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE – UPDATE Background The Education Pillar of GFPB, Inc. began with two clear objectives: To develop primary and secondary educational institutions that are academically and financially sound; To improve the educational options provided by our high schools and institutions of higher education to meet the specific needs of

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Phase 1: Jan 2017 – Sept 2018

Economic Development Pillar recommended a closer look at workforce development and employability training to address the current status of the workforce in our community. GFPB is working with the Jefferson County Economic Development Alliance to put together a task force, which will seek to collaborate and centralize all of the

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

The Innovation Hub is part of the Economic Development Plan. It seeks to create a collaborative ecosystem – through programs and partnerships to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment in Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas. GFPB has hired Mildred J. Franco as Executive Director of the Innovation Hub. Ms. Franco

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

GFPB has pledged $4M towards a Multi-Purpose/Aquatic Center that will contain meeting rooms, classrooms, recreational areas and an state-of-the-art aquatic center. The Center will attract out-of-town visitors to swim meets and provide a local outlet to our citizens for additional recreational activities. An architectural firm has been selected and is

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Phase 2: Oct 2018 – Sept 2019

Pine Bluff Rising has attracted investors to renovate and repurpose the iconic Pines Hotel. Work should start soon which will increase interest in the downtown area. Simmons Bank has made a sizable investment to ensure Pine Bluff has a downtown square. Officials are looking for the location of the Plaza

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October 2017

The Urban Renewal Agency came into existence and consists of volunteer commissioners Jimmy Dill, Travis Martin, Rita Conley, Lloyd Franklin Sr. and Kirby Mouser. They are dealing with blighted properties, obtaining properties and renovating properties, Watley said. “We have an outstanding opportunity to use this vehicle to make a demonstrable

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August 2017

An urban renewal agency is a public entity created to transform blighted urban areas into productive property. Such agencies typically possess powers including eminent domain and the ability to take out bonds. Pine Bluff created an urban renewal agency in 1961 and dissolved it roughly a decade later. Mayor Shirley

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Phase 3: Oct 2019 – Sept 2020

GFPB has begun the work on this initiative. First, GFPB is working with community members to  identify the existing trails in Pine Bluff with the objective of mapping them, and making the information accessible to the Pine Bluff community and tourists.

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