Understanding Erie Refocused

The Benedictine Sisters of Erie hosted an Enrichment Series featuring the topic: Erie Refocused—Building Community through Collaboration. Sisters and guests came together to learn the context and details of the ongoing efforts to remake Erie.

The presentation, introduced by Sister Christin Kosin, member of the Ongoing Monastic Formation Committee, provided information to clarify and gain understanding of Mayor Joe Schember’s vision and plan named Erie Refocused. “I didn’t know what Erie Refocused really was,” said one sister. “l am very excited that there is so much energy around making Erie better.”

More than 50 people attended Monday night’s gathering in the monastery chapel which included a broad overview of Erie Refocused. Kathy Wyrosdick, the city of Erie’s planning director, explained that the plan is ambitious and atypical in that the movement forward is unfolding as data is gained. “Rather than waiting until all of the data is collected to plan and then implement, we are doing and moving forward as we go along. There is no time to wait.” To that end, changes are already in process; better street lighting and security cameras in identified neighborhoods to name just a couple of the improvements that have been made. Bringing the vision of Erie “a city of great places,” is unfolding with an emphasis on strong neighborhoods and a healthy environment for job creation.

Input was also shared by Michael Outlaw Sr., Community Liaison, whose position focused on minority relations, police and Unified Erie, and Niken Astari Carpenter who serves as Executive Assistant and Immigrant and Refugee Liaison.

Erie Refocused, the city’s first comprehensive plan in decades, addresses Erie’s future needs in a number of areas, including housing, transportation, land use and economic development, to combat decades of systematic decline.