ODESSA, Texas — Opportunity Odessa, a non-partisan community-driven group that is co-chaired by Collin Sewell and Lorraine Perryman, gathered at the Marriott in Odessa to discuss the results from their online, five question survey distributed to the public in October 2021.
"I think the greatest news about today is that the community and so many people in Odessa stepped forward and shared with us what they want Odessa to be in a few years," said Sewell. "So many people volunteered their thoughts so that we really had the ability to start developing strategies to take back to the community."
From more than 4,187 responses on the survey, the results showed most people, regardless of location and age group, ranked the same priorities in their top five. Priorities like investing in infrastructure, improving public safety and more amenities.
“Amenities in the community ranked very high, people want quality of life and quality of place where they are," said Perryman. "They want parks, they want restaurants, they want entertainment venues, and the downtown is the key to that."
When narrowed down even further, the top priority and what people felt was the greatest impact on Odessa's future success was education and schools.
"You can see from the survey they are concerned about education, they saw that is the biggest bang for their buck in this community, to improve our schools, our public schools," said Perryman.
Those who filled out the survey were also asked where places Odessa can learn from are, what are words to describe Odessa today and the vision for it in 10 years.
"There has to be an overarching vision or a picture of what we want to accomplish in the future," said Sewell.
As time goes on, what citizens would like to see from their city changes.
"The old image is not the new image of Odessa," said Perryman "People want to continue the family friendly, and that’s how they see themselves, and for the future they want to improve the issues in the community that will make us that. Our citizens need to develop a culture that doesn’t divide us, but brings us together. They showed us in this survey that’s what they want."