“SET THE TABLE!”
INITIATIVE SEEKS MIDDLESEX COUNTY RESIDENTS TO HOST A DINNER PARTY AND DISCUSS THE FUTURE!
Middlesex County has teamed up with Rutgers university’s Public Outreach and Engagement Team (POET) to launch Set the Table! They are seeking people who live, work and/or study (ages 18 and up) to host dinner parties or gatherings of friends, neighbors and colleagues to discuss their priorities for Middlesex County’s future.
It’s all part of the extensive outreach effort for Middlesex County’s DESTINATION2040 Comprehensive Master Plan initiative. Set the Table! offers a fun, casual and social approach to encourage civic engagement and participation, and an opportunity to directly contribute to Middlesex County’s planning and decision-making.
POET and Middlesex County will select up to 100 participants to receive a $50 stipend to cover food or other necessities to host a social gathering of 6-8 peers to discuss several topics related to living and working in Middlesex County. Topic choices include: housing, economic opportunity, environment, transportation, land use & development, public health, arts & culture, parks & open spaces, historic preservation, technology & innovation, public services & facilities, and public safety. In exchange, participants will report back their key ideas and suggestions for input into the DESTINATION2040 plan, which will guide how Middlesex County will grow and change over the next 20+ years.
“We are thrilled to bring Set the Table! To Middlesex County,” said Freeholder Charles Kenny, chair of the County’s Infrastructure Management Committee. "The County is always looking for new and exciting ways to connect with our residents, businesses, and community members. We hope the fun, social nature of Set the Table! will encourage more people to participate and contribute their ideas for the future of our county."
“Set the Table! Is all about connecting with others and sharing ideas to build a better tomorrow,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “Want to shape the future? This fun and collaborative event will allow you to connect with the County, our most important resource is your input, so bring your thoughts and ideas to the table!”
In addition to the $50 stipend, host participants will receive a "To Go Box" kit with question cards, interesting facts and other tools to help engage their guests in meaningful (and fun!) conversation.
Hosts must attend a kick-off/orientation event where Rutgers POET will provide some training and helpful information about hosting their events, as well as pick up their kit and $50 stipend.
The dates/times for the events are:
• Friday, March 8, 2019 from 10am-12pm in Plainsboro, NJ
• Thursday, March 14, 2019 from 6:30-8:30pm in Carteret, NJ
• Sunday, March 24, 2019 from 1-3pm in Piscataway, NJ
Rutgers POET and Middlesex County are recruiting now for Set the Table!
Those who are interested in hosting a gathering, please fill out a brief online form at middlesexcountynj.gov/destination2040 .