New movement in Wichita hopes to inspire growth

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Almost 40 years ago, Wichita was considered a boom town.

Now, a new movement is trying to bring back that same spirit.

A June report found Wichitans are making less than residents in other cities; our home values are lower, and so is our net worth.

But using the hashtag BlackoutICT, people are pledging to make Wichita a better place.

From shopping local, to volunteering more, BlackoutICT is serving as a catalyst to grow this once-thriving city.

"We love our city, but now flying the flag isn't enough. What can we do at this point that's going to make our city better for everyone, a better place to live," said Ted Dvorak, Lead Designer at JK Design.

This month, this new movement has people turning the Wichita Flag black to inspire growth in a city that was once ranked as one of the fastest-growing towns in the U.S.

"It's a call to action for Wichitans," said Dvorak.

A June report by Wichita native and Data Analyst James Chung found the city is falling behind compared to others its size.

"Residents in other cities that are higher gross cities are seeing greater increase in salary, greater increase in jobs, greater increase in home values," said James Chung, with Reach Advisors, in June.

But the bleak news is serving as motivation for those who are invested in the city.

The Workroom, a home goods store with locally-made products, and the Chung Report are partnering to inspire change within Wichita, using the blacked-out flag and the hashtag BlackoutICT.

"It runs the gamut. It doesn't have to be huge, either. A lot of people think it has to be a giant goal that they have to achieve in the month of October. No. Small things even help," said Dvorak.