A year ago, Shreveport, Louisiana was on the brink of building a highway right through the poor inner-city neighborhood of Allendale. As residents came together and rallied against this project in order to protect their homes and their community, Strong Towns became an inspiration and a voice for their efforts.
In addition to sharing stories about the people and the community that would be ripped apart as a result of this highway, Strong Towns also focused on the fundamentally flawed economic arguments propping up the project in the first place.
We proved just how financially harmful this highway would actually be, in opposition to local leaders claiming that the project would benefit their city. You can see all our work on Shreveport here.
As a result of this national focus on the issue, lawyers from across the country including the Sierra Club's legal team have now stepped in to offer assistance and the fight against the highway is gaining momentum.
Strong Towns member and Shreveport resident John Perkins explains how Strong Towns' unique method of activism which uses articles, podcasts and social media to share its message, has been particularly impactful in Shreveport. Before Strong Towns, he says, there was no central hub of information or support for groups like the #AllendaleStrong neighborhood group. Now he uses Strong Towns' content to help him understand the issues facing his city and how to address them.
"I'm forever changed by Strong Towns," he explains, "and along with my new friends in our once small neighborhood group, #AllendaleStrong, we are Strong Citizens making Shreveport into a Strong Town."
Shreveport resident and Strong Towns member, Tim Wright, who helped bring Chuck Marohn to Shreveport, adds, "Strong Towns has helped our citizens understand why we have financial trouble, and has redirected our focus towards small, incremental improvements for change that actually lasts. On a personal level, it's also given me an understanding of how to be an engineer that incorporates human-centered principles."
In our latest podcast episode, Chuck Marohn chats with John Perkins about how Strong Towns helped shift the conversation in his town of Shreveport, Louisiana in powerful ways.
We want to help other communities like the Allendale neighborhood fight back against harmful projects. We want to help more towns grow strong and resilient for all of their residents. But we can't do it without your help.
We're operating on a tiny budget and we have so much more that we want to do. Join us as a member this week and help us change the conversation about what builds truly strong places — across America.
(Top photo source: Re-Form Shreveport)