Strong Towns Successes: Our Members are Making a Difference in their Communities

Strong Towns draws members from around the world, which means we have Strong Citizens making positive change in hundreds of towns and cities. Strong Towns gives them the tools, the inspiration, the support and the resources to help transform their homes into more financially resilient, people-centered places. Here are some of their stories:

Beth Gehred

Beth Gehred

Beth Gehred

Beth is a Strong Towns member who lives in Fort Atkinson, WI. Earlier this year, she ran for a city council seat in her town on a Strong Towns platform, and she won! In an interview, she explained why she's a member of Strong Towns and what the organization has done for her:

Strong Towns has given me a clarity of thought. It has given me this language and this confidence that there are other people who see things exactly the way I am seeing them.

I have had 20 years of doing this kind of work, but I was always coming from this perspective of, “my children deserve better, my family deserves better, I think this doesn’t build community, I love the environment and so on.” I was always being brushed off for that.

When Strong Towns came along, that made it very easy to feel connected to this body of research, literature, engineering and technology that is backing my thoughts. Now I have the utter confidence that I deserve to be heard and that these ideas deserve to be heard.

Read Beth's story.


Michael is Strong Towns member and city manager of Fate, TX. Over the last year, he has been sharing the Strong Towns message with his city council through our Curbside Chat video series, and he's already seeing the positive impact. He told us:

My town is the epitome of a suburban high growth city, and the sprawl repair mission will be a long battle to right the long term fiscal ship...  The  [Strong Towns] concepts of minimizing infrastructure spending, and building denser urban places have already radically impacted our comprehensive plan. 

Read Michael's story.

Grant Henninger, with his son

Grant Henninger, with his son

Grant Henninger

Grant is a Strong Towns member who grew up in Anaheim, CA. He thought he'd leave the city after college for a more exciting place, but Strong Towns helped him see that he could stick around and commit to making his hometown a better place. He recently reflected:

Transforming a city into a lovable place takes a herculean effort over a long period of time, and it cannot be done alone. It demands a community of leaders and activists pushing changes to city plans and policies, to create a vibrant local economy and create a built environment that suits the needs of the community. 

Read Grant's story (plus his tips for making your hometown more loveable).

Jen and Michael Smith

Jen and Michael Smith

Jen and Michael Smith

Jen and Michael are Strong Towns members who live in Rockford, IL. They do a lot to make theirs a strong towns. Recently they fought to save a historic library from being demolished and used as a construction staging area. Michael shared the impact that Strong Towns has had on this couple's ability to help make Rockford into a better place:

When I moved back to Rockford a few years ago, I became disenchanted with our low-density, auto-oriented development on the fringes, and began to explore why the historically built environment at our urban core was more heartening.  Strong Towns has given me the language to explain this further, and has empowered me to address unique challenges that our city faces.

To know that your voice is heard, and your sentiments are shared by others is incredibly empowering.  I have Strong Towns to thank for that.

Read Jen and Michael's story.


These are just a few reasons why #MembersMatter. We're honored that Strong Citizens like Beth, Michael, Grant, Jen and Michael choose to support the Strong Towns movement. And we're pleased to be able to provide them with the tools and community that they need to transform their towns into more financially resilient places.