One Voice, under the leadership of the Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council (BNEDC), is a pro-community campaign that has brought together leaders from the City of Bloomington, the Town of Normal, McLean County, labor, local educational institutions and local private businesses. The goal of the campaign is to make McLean County a stronger economic force and a better place to live.
Each spring, the One Voice Task Force travels to Washington D.C. to meet with our congressional delegation to show them our community stands united in support of community issues involving projects, initiatives and infrastructure improvements. For those projects needing funding, we work to meet with the federal agencies that may have grants or funds available.
During the 2019 trip we visited the Department of Transportation where Connect Transit sought funds for a transfer center in Downtown Bloomington as a way to provide more capacity for buses and better passenger amenities, and the Town of Normal sought funds for a pedestrian and bicycle underpass near Uptown Circle and the Uptown Station Multimodal facility. We also met with the Department of Education to discuss grant funding for a community small business incubator and makerspace. Lastly we met with the Department of the Interior's National Park Service to discuss programs to be designated under the Route 66 Centennial Commission and the recent declaration of Route 66 as a National Historic Trail.
The ultimate goal of One Voice is to engage our federal representatives and to obtain federal funding for our community. One Voice does not lobby for policy for regulatory change and is not affiliated with any political party, movement or policy organization.
2019 One Voice Trip
One Voice 2019 included 28 members of the Bloomington-Normal and McLean County community. Meetings took place at four federal agencies:
The Department of Education team met with:
- Lynn Mahaffie, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning & Innovation
- Linda Byrd-Johnson, Sr. Director, Higher Education Programs
- Gaby Watts, Director, Educational Opportunity Centers Division
The Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Authority team met with:
- Mark Bathrick, Sr. Transportation Program Analyst, Office of Program Management
- John Bodnar, Senior Analyst, Urbanized Area Division
The Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration team met with:
- Christopher Hess, Director of Government Affairs
- Deborah Kobrin, Government Relations Specialist
- Dan Neumann, Government Relations Specialist
The Department of Interior team met with:
- Marshall Critchfield, Advisor, Office of the Assistant Secretary
- Sarah Spaulding, Special Assistant, Intergovernmental & External Affairs
BNEDC One Voice Scholarship
The scholarship was created in 2008. The scholarship allows one local college student (from an EDC investor school) to participate in the One Voice trip.
The 2019 recipient is Ashwin Siddaraju.
The Heartland Community College Scholarship
The scholarship was created in 2018. The scholarship allows one Heartland Community College student to participate in the One Voice trip.
We are pleased to announce the 2019 recipient is Joshua Crockett.