With a career that led Ken Hixon from working as a child actor to becoming a successful screenwriter, creative initiative is clearly in the native Indianan’s blood. Two years ago, after circulating a petition aimed at reining in a developer who had applied for a controversial conditional use permit near Hixon’s charming two-story Genesee Avenue duplex, he first met with the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA). “Walking in, I could immediately see the talent, energy, commitment and institutional knowledge of the members,” recalls Hixon.
Although he had long been a dues-paying member of the Association, for the first time, he understood how the group’s efforts had, for decades, helped foster the neighborhood’s exceptional quality of life. Grasping that in order to keep the MMRA strong in years to come though, it would need to bridge the generational divide and Hixon proposed bringing the MMRA’s newsletter handout into the 21st century with a more accessible online version.
Now, each month, Hixon and the dozen or so members of the MMRA Communications Committee he heads, creates and distributes it electronically to more than 800 subscribers. Many more people access the newsletter through the Association website (miraclemilela.com) which, with features such as historical pages, a restaurant guide, pet resource page, and timely information on the nearby construction, commercial and cultural developments, has attracted over 125,000 views. A Facebook page, Twitter account and an MMRA YouTube channel, with its debut original production, “Miracle Mile in Three Tenses,” rounds out the Association’s web presence.
Hixon, along with his wife Melanie Otey, an executive recruiter, moved to Miracle Mile 28 years ago and raised their two children in the neighborhood. “We’d been living in a house in the Valley,” says Hixon, “but our daughter was born with Down syndrome and we needed a place with sidewalks, that had a sense of place, where the geography was favorable for her and Miracle Mile was ideal.
“My children have grown,” continues Hixon. “I’m older now and have had some success. I can afford to be civically involved, but we need to make it sustainable—by bringing new people in and getting them off on the right foot. That’s how we can keep the MMRA strong.”