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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

LINC Calls Rockford Construction Out For Hushed Plan

Mariano Avila

LINC Community Revitalization posted a press release accusing Rockford Construction of using their name to further development plans in Southeast Grand Rapids. 

“The plans that we came across, they had indicated that there was initial conversations with some organizations, a list of other organizations that they intended to converse with. LINC’s name was listed as an organization that they had initial conversations with. But we really have not met with Rockford staff about anything within these plans.”

That’s Jeremy DeRoo, co-executive director of LINC. He says he is not sure who the intended audience was for the the 43-page plan, which outlines major development along Madison Avenue just south of Hall Street, but says the community needs a voice in a project that will affect their neighborhood.

Rockford Construction had scheduled a community meeting at Seeds of Promise on Friday at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the first step in the process. But DeRoo says he hopes neighbors turn out to ask bigger questions.

“There is often a tension between a developer’s interests and a community’s interest, and it does take some intentionality. And there’s a good tension that comes from working through what those differences of approach may be, that produces more trust in the community, better community engagement or a better community process as well as better process for developers.”

Rockford Construction did not return WGVU’s calls in time for this report.

Mariano Avila is WGVU's inclusion reporter. He has made a career of bringing voices from the margins to those who need to hear them. Over the course of his career, Mariano has written for major papers in English and Spanish, published in magazines, worked in broadcast, and produced short films, commercials, and nonprofit campaigns. He also briefly served at a foreign consulate, organized for international human rights efforts and has done considerable work connecting marginalized people to religious, educational, and nonprofit institutions through the power of story.
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