State Initiative starts household survey

Courtesy of the Department of the Interior, Sports and Infrastructure

In the coming days and weeks, 10 local German communities in the vicinity of major U.S. military installations in Rheinland-Pfalz will start a household survey addressing U.S. residents. The questionnaire campaign is part of the state initiative “Welcome to Rhineland-Palatinate — Our Neighbors from America,” which has been launched by the Department of the Interior of the German State of Rheinland-Pfalz.

The initiative aims at receiving an overview of fields of interest, local demands and the need for information on U.S. citizens living in local German towns and villages in order to develop customized local initiatives and services that foster a positive German-American everyday life.

“Especially in a number of small German communities close to U.S. military installations, we are dealing with a U.S.-American share of inhabitants of 20 percent or more. Thus, enhancing a culture of local German-American openness can be of mutual benefit for both American families and the German community,” said Minister of the Interior Roger Lewentz.

As part of the project, which has been coordinated with the respective U.S. military authorities, representatives of the participating German communities will distribute the questionnaires in the coming days and weeks.

“Our military members and families enjoy living here in Rheinland-Pfalz, and I applaud the efforts of the state government and local communities to find ways to improve the quality of life for all of us who live and work here,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick X. Mordente, 86th Airlift Wing commander.
Col. Shawn Wells, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz, supports the initiative as well.

“In order to explore all the treasures that Germany and its people have to offer, I invite you to take this voluntary survey,” he said. “Your valued input will assist your local German community to provide you with programs to make your time in Germany a truly memorable one.”

Ten towns and villages close to the U.S. military installations of Ramstein, Baumholder and Spangdahlem will take part in the initiative: Herforst, Spangdahlem, Ramstein-Miesenbach, Neunkirchen am Potzberg, Oberstaufenbach, Kottweiler-Schwanden, Hütschenhausen, Niedermohr, Steinwenden and Baumholder.

After the evaluation of the survey, the results will be discussed in community workshops, which are scheduled to take place in the spring in order to develop customized local activities.