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2012 Community Engagement Grant Awards

Round 2 Community Engagement Grant Project Descriptions – September 2012

AFRICAN CAREER, EDUCATION & RESOURCE, INC. (ACER)

Project title: Making Transit Meaningful 2
Corridor: Bottineau
Project Category: Received 1st Round
Funding Amount: $30,000

ACER is a volunteer-driven, community-based organization founded in 2008 to close the resource and information disparities within Minnesota’s communities of African descent and help those communities achieve societal and economic independence.  Located in Brooklyn Park, ACER is a subsidiary of Strengthening African Resilience for Excellence, SARX, and a registered 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization.

Project Description:

ACER will focus the second phase of its project on engaging business owners, youth, and apartment residents from underrepresented groups in the northern and northwestern suburbs.  ACER’s engagement message will target African immigrants and African Americans through a series of community forums, small group meetings, and media publications.  ACER will partner with the City of Brooklyn Park to reach this population. At the end of this phase, a large representation of African immigrants, African Americans, and other minorities will have actively participated and contributed to community forums and workshops to be better informed and more engaged about transit issues that affect their communities and individual lives. There will be heightened public awareness and increased understanding translated into sustained support and informed action by the target audience around transit issues. ACER will also implement an internship program to build a deeper connection with stakeholders while conveying its message. 

CENTRO DE TRABAJADORES UNIDOR EN LA LUCHA (CTUL)

Project Title: Good Job Opportunities in Corridor Development
Corridors: Interchange, Bottineau, Southwest
Project Category: Capacity Grant
Amount:  $10,000

CTUL is a low-wage Latino immigrant-led organization that is organizing for fair wages and working conditions for all workers in the Twin Cities metro area. Over the past four and a half years, CTUL has recovered over $550,000 in unpaid wages and damages from employers who did not pay workers the full wages they are owed. In addition, CTUL has pressured 20 companies into changing corporate policies that were in violation of federal and/or state labor laws, gaining improvements in the workplace for over 1,200 low-wage immigrant workers. CTUL has partnered with thousands of low-wage immigrant workers regarding their rights in the workplace, and currently has around 160 members (all low-wage workers).

Capacity Grant Project:

The key to promoting sustainable, vibrant and healthy communities is ensuring that development leads to good jobs that pay living wages. There are three components of the project: Research, Education and Outreach, and Action and Engagement.  CTUL will involve our base (low-income Latino immigrants) in planning, decision-making and implementation processes around The Interchange, and proposed connecting lines to ensure that new jobs created are good jobs.  A large percentage of our members live in South Minneapolis and work in the surrounding suburbs, many working at jobs along the proposed Bottineau and Southwest corridors. We will use the one year of funding in this project to set up structures ensuring the long-term involvement of our constituency in corridor development. 

CLEVELAND NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

Project Title: Bus Shelter Workshop Toolkit and Outreach
Project Category: Capacity Grant
Amount: $10,000

The Cleveland Neighborhood Association serves the residents in the Cleveland Neighborhood of north Minneapolis, a diverse community of about 3,000 residents.  The neighborhood is bordered by the commercial corridors of Penn, Lowry and Dowling Avenue and Victory Memorial Parkway.  Nearly 800 of the residents are under the age of 18.  Further, nearly a quarter of residents live below the Census-defined poverty level and about 20% are transit dependent (do not own a vehicle).

Capacity Grant Project:

We intend to use this capacity building funding to organize underrepresented residents around transportation equity issues by engaging them in the decision making process using innovative outreach tools, built in collaboration with our partner Works Progress, to build long-term involvement of those residents in the Cleveland Neighborhood beyond the scope of this project.  We will engage transit-dependent, low-income, people of color in the Cleveland neighborhood through a “bus shelter workshop toolkit” to inform them about transit development (LRT, Street cars, bus, etc.) and connect them with the neighborhood organization to empower those residents to have a voice in the decision making process.  There are two specific goals we would like to achieve through this initiative: To create a toolkit that can serve as a model for direct engagement and to connect with 20 or more community residents through trustworthy relationships to build leadership capacity for transit related development issues.

EASTSIDE PROSPERITY CAMPAIGN

Project Title: Engage East Side Phase 2
Corridor: Gateway
Project Category:  Received 1st Round Funding
Amount: $25,000

We’re a coalition of organizations on the East Side of St. Paul that works with cultural specificity to engage underrepresented communities around transit, with a focus on the Gateway Corridor.  Our goal is to involve these communities (which are a majority of the population) in local decision-making for development projects. As a coalition of organizations we have very good access to the major cultural communities of the East Side. With Casa de Esperanza (Latino community), Hmong American Partnership (Hmong and East Asian community), Cultural Wellness Center (African-American community), American Indian Family Center (American-Indian community) we have established links to these communities. With Districts 4 & 5 Community Councils we work through a well-established structure for geographically-based outreach and information sharing.

Project Description:

The first phase of our work has concentrated on core areas of education, community surveying and data dissemination, transit related research, community events, and making connections with planners, key stakeholders and elected officials. Moving into year 2 of our work, we’ll continue with the education focus, as many on the East Side are not aware of Gateway Corridor nor any of the other transit planning that is happening. In year 2 we’ll also be able to concentrate more on pulling together a resident leadership group, to represent those communities with whom we work to the various decision-makers (Gateway Commission, Washington and Ramsey Counties, the Met Council/Transit, and City Planning Departments). To this end we’ll look for resident leaders from the various communities we are working with to be a part of this group. We will offer ongoing capacity building efforts (leadership development, organizing training, etc.) to prepare the group for this role. Success for this project is to create an established community platform to involve residents in future development opportunities 

HARRISON NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

Project Title: Transit Equity Partnership Phase 2
Project Category: Received 1st Round Funding
Amount: $45,000

Harrison neighborhood is a racially diverse community consisting of 40% African Americans; 28% White; 17% Southeast Asian (Lao and Hmong); 9% Latino and 5% Somali and other. The median household income is a little more than $25,000. Heritage Park is 35% Somali, 30% African American, 11% Native American, 5% Ethiopian, 4% Latino, 6% Asian and 3% White. The median household income is approximately $16,000. There are 25,000 Lao in Minnesota, 70% live in Hennepin County of which 30% live in North Minneapolis.

The Transit Equity Partnership consists of three organizations controlled by underrepresented communities committed to creating a transit system that equitably benefits the diverse racial, cultural, and economic groups that have been harmed by a century of discriminatory planning decisions that have marginalized and isolated our communities in North Minneapolis. Harrison Neighborhood Association (HNA) is the lead organization in the partnership. Both HNA and Heritage Park Neighborhood Association (HPNA) are placed based organizations that have multi-cultural leadership, working on multiple issues. Loa Assistance Center of Minnesota (LACM) is a refugee organization serving primarily Lao community members throughout the State but geographically concentrated along the Bottineau line.

Project Description:

The Transit Equity Partnership is an effort to overcome a century of discriminatory urban planning that has resulted in disinvestment, lack of opportunity, isolation and marginalization of those living in North Minneapolis. TEP will do this by using a racial justice framework to build a common understanding between diverse communities.  The focus of this round is to ensure that the community developed equity agenda is a priority in neighborhood, local government and area property owner decision-making going forward. This will be done in the following ways: (1) By training existing leaders and recently emerged leaders on how to advocate on behalf of the recently developed community position, (2) Forming a Van White Station Stop Stakeholders group that will consist of the TEP, property owners and key organizations located in the ¼ mile of the Station Stop with the purpose of implementing community equity goals, (3) Training and Preparing resident Leaders to advocate for their community in upcoming DEIS process the first half of 2013 and in the County sponsored Health Impact Assessment process, (4) Development Community Priorities and Positions for Bottineau line between Van White and Penn Avenue. (5) Connecting local leaders to Corridor-wide efforts and processes.  We have an emerging group of leaders as a result of round 1 funding that will be ready to engage corridor-wide efforts armed with positions with community consensus. Resident leaders will be connected with the Bottineau CAC and PAC, and encouraged to attend the CET Steering Committee. By the start of this grant we will have a critical mass of leaders educated about the Bottineau line with an understanding of their community needs/goals and confident in the support they have to make change.

LA ASAMBLEA DE DERECHOS-CIVILES

Project Title: Emancipation Campaign: Corridors to Freedom
Corridors: Bottineau, Cedar, Southwest
Project Category: Capacity Grant
Amount: $10,000

La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles (hereafter “La Asamblea”) is a faith-based organization in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, MN. We organize to build leadership in our community and act in collective power to change the politics that affect the destiny of our people. We work to cultivate leaders through transformational trainings and mentorship programs guiding their participation in public life. Our primary constituency is made up of Latino immigrants from local Catholic churches and our organizational leadership is reflective of this. The majority of organizational leaders involved in designing and implementing this project are immigrants and people of color. As an immigrant led organization, our membership will be actively involved in every aspect of the project, from planning and implementation of our work plan, to organizing key events, and developing campaign strategies. We focus intentionally and devote considerable time and resources to leadership development of immigrants and people of color.

Capacity Grant Project:

Through the Emancipation Campaign of Corridors to Freedom, we will organize Latino faith community members at St John the Evangelist (serving residents of Hopkins along the Southwest Corridor) Saint Alphonsus (serving resident of Brooklyn Park along the Bottineau Corridor) and Church of the Risen Savior (serving residents of Apple Valley and Lakeville along the Cedar Avenue Corridor). We will host public forums, conduct community surveys, provide leadership training for community members, and organize meetings between residents and decision makers. The Latino community is an underrepresented constituency at decision making tables due to institutional racism and an oppressive immigration system. This project aims to bring Latino immigrants to the table to develop a collective vision around the corridors and make their voice heard to ensure they benefit from decisions that affect their lives. We will directly engage community members by hosting forums to educate them about the plan and ask for their input on what they like and don’t like. As a result of this project we hope to see increased access to job opportunities, a safe mode of transit for immigrants, the preservation of existing affordable housing along the corridors, and the development of new affordable housing.

MASJID AN-NUR

Project Title: En-LIGHT-enment
Project Category: Capacity Grant
Amount: $10,000

The main organization involved in this project will be Masjid An-Nur in North Minneapolis MN. The masjid serves the most densely populated area of Minnesota and includes zip codes 55443, 55429, 55430, 55412, and 55411.  The masjid is in the process of detailing the characteristics of its constituency, however it is known that the population served is racially diverse and experiences the highest poverty rates in the state. Masjid An-Nur is home to an organization called Al-Maa’uun. This organization focuses its efforts on providing neighborly needs and stands as a vanguard against poverty and injustice. It serves as a catalyst and partner, supporting the excellent human dignity of individuals and families and improves their live and the communities in which we live and serve. Al-Maa’uun has the ability to reach approximately 500 families per month via its food shelf efforts. Individuals who benefit from Al-Maa’uun and Masjid An-Nur’s services are largely people of color, immigrants from West Africa, and/or Muslim.

Capacity Grant Project:

This project is an LRT awareness and education campaign for the North Minneapolis community served by Masjid An-Nur and Al-Maa’uun. By educating the community about issues such as social, environmental, and access equality, we aim to empower individuals from this often overlooked community to become a part of the planning and decision-making process for the Bottineau LRT Corridor. Our proposal for this project is simple. We would like to create awareness and then educate our constituency on the concepts of economic development, regional equity and access to mass transit. From this, we hope to empower individuals from the community who are willing to continue the conversation with LRT planners and executers to define and articulate the needs of the community of North Minneapolis as the Bottineau LRT line decisions are being made. We have two concise goals: 1. To have an aware and educated North Minneapolis community about issues surrounding the planning, development, and implementation of LRT in North Minneapolis. 2. To empower individuals whom otherwise would not be involved from North Minneapolis to serve as community advocates with LRT leadership ensuring long-term involvement with the Bottineau Corridor line.

METROPOLITAN INTERFAITH COUNCIL ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING (MICAH)

Project Title: Interfaith Housing, Transit and Equitable Development Organizing
Corridors: Bottineau/Southwest
Project Category: New Applicant - Implementation
Amount: $30,000

MICAH organizes communities of faith throughout the metropolitan region around the vision that everyone, without exception, has a safe, decent and affordable home. Affordable housing creates communities that thrive and is an essential part of our region’s infrastructure. MICAH is committed to achieving policy changes that create long-term solutions to increase access to affordable housing. MICAH brings together people of faith to act on their values to support affordable housing, undo racism and build regional equity. In the last ten years over 5500 families with low incomes have homes, thanks to the hundreds of MICAH members throughout the region that created the political support necessary for the development of and investment in affordable housing.  Over 6 years ago MICAH leaders and members adopted transit oriented development principles that have guided our organizing approach and policy positions along transit corridors.

Project Description: 

This project brings together the members and resources of our four organizations: Zion Baptist Church, Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, Discussions that Encounter, and MICAH around the shared goal of engaging residents of North Minneapolis with supporters from communities along the Southwest and Bottineau transit way to engage community members on the Northside to assure that development decisions benefit everyone in the community.  The projected timeline is primarily based on the projected timelines of the building and development of the LRT systems that have been presented to the community. For the past 6 years, MICAH members from throughout the region have been working in communities along transit corridors to ensure that development along all these corridors benefits the whole community and include a range of housing and economic equity opportunities.  Priorities have been identified to date, and more presentations, forums and dialogues will be underway during the summer and fall. Comprehensive training will be held for community members in the fall of 2012 and meetings between constituents and political policy makers will be held to build relationships and support for issue priorities. Electronic and social media will also be used. Success for this project will be a diverse group of leaders from the neighborhood leading the campaign and winning on policy priorities that will create new and preserve existing affordable housing, protect current homeowners with low incomes from displacement due to increased property taxes, provide well placed transit options for the neighborhood and generate economic opportunities. 

NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE

Project Title: Anpetu Was’te Cultural Arts Market
Corridor: Hiawatha
Project Category: New Applicant - Implementation
Amount: $35,000

NACDI was established as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit in 2007, governed by an 11 member Board of Directors. The board is purposefully comprised of majority local American Indian leadership from the community who can provide culturally responsive leadership and direction. NACDI Board of Directors is a diverse cross‐section representation of American Indian nonprofit leadership, government officials, college officials, business owners, philanthropic representatives, and the faith community. Eight of the 11 board members are tribally‐enrolled American Indians. The project partners, Ventura Village Association and Seward Neighborhood Group are resident based organizations, representative of community member constituency. NACDI’s mission is to partner with American Indian communities to build and execute 21st century community development strategies; it is a mission and approach geared to gaining inclusion of community member voice and input. This project provides the structure and roles for community member input throughout the process and engagement activities.

Project Description:

Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market is a gateway and market in the American Indian Cultural Corridor at the Franklin Avenue light rail station that connects two neighborhoods. NACDI and local resident associations will involve an underrepresented American Indian community and neighborhood residents with direct engagement throughout the project implementation.  After years of hard work, the American Indian community officially opened the American Indian Cultural Corridor in 2010. The half‐mile cultural corridor—the only urban American Indian corridor in the country—is located at the Franklin Light Rail station, minutes from Downtown Minneapolis, Mall of America and the Airport. Over 10 million light rail passengers pass the Cultural Corridor annually; however most do not visit the Corridor. Anpetu Was'te Cultural Arts Market creates a unique gateway and market that welcomes people to the Cultural Corridor at the light rail station, connects two neighborhoods, and serves as a community gathering space.  An unused central median of Franklin Avenue will be developed into an art and food market with space for arts vendors, food trucks, and seating; and, a plaza for performances that will be reinforced with community public art. The Cultural Arts Market catalyzes development of a vibrant community economy along the Corridor and bridges the current disconnect between communities and transit use.

NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE

Project Title: Robert Street Transitway Alternatives Analysis Study
Corridor: Robert Street (not one of 7 CoO corridors; but eligible)
Project Category: New Applicant - Implementation
Amount: $20,000

NeDA is a 23-year old nonprofit development corporation providing primarily housing development services on St. Paul’s West Side. We have engaged with other West Side nonprofits in promoting other West Side programs and development including participation in several West Side community plans. NeDA is also a HUD-certified housing counseling agency offering pre-purchase, foreclosure prevention, and credit and bankruptcy counseling services to the seven county metro area Latino population. NeDA’s counseling and support staff are bilingual (Spanish/English). NeDA has a nine-member staff with a six-member board.

The West Side Community Organization (WSCO) is an action oriented, neighborhood-based non-profit organization empowering our residents to participate in and advocate for solutions to West Side community issues. Growing out of a movement in 1973 to save Humboldt High School, WSCO remains committed to its activist roots, using organizing and community economic development principles as a foundation for all of its work. The organization works to increase the civic participation of residents by initiating organizing campaigns, providing leadership development opportunities for youth and adults and by educating and building the power base of residents to tackle civic issues. WSCO also acts as a vehicle to inform and shape issues concerning the “built” environment through community economic development planning, organizing resources to clean up urban blight and advocating for equitable development. Finally, the organization works to promote a healthy natural and social environment by addressing food security issues, promoting urban agriculture, recycling and residential energy efficiency.

Project Description:

This project will ensure that underrepresented West Side residents participate in Dakota and Ramsey Counties' 2-year planning process: the Robert Street Transitway Alternatives 2 Analysis Study. The Counties met with representatives from WSCO and NeDA and agreed that a community engagement strategy targeted at new immigrants and low income residents was a priority.  Activities include: conducting research on past planning studies in the area; outreach to neighbors through individual door knocking; meeting with resident and church groups; establishing an ongoing communication strategy to keep the neighborhood informed on plans, meetings, etc. Engage with the City of St. Paul and the Counties to keep them apprised of resident concerns regarding the planning process and ways to facilitate the dissemination of material. Success for this project will be that the Alternatives Analysis actually incorporates the resident’s concern, wants, and needs into the plans. Further, the West Side will have a new set of leaders and/or emerging leaders.  Specifically, we hope to have clear-cut recommendations emerging from the study regarding improved east-west connections and improved linkages to the Central Corridor. 

NEW AMERICAN ACADEMY

Project title: SW Corridor Immigrant Opportunity Outreach & Engagement Phase 2
Corridor: Southwest
Project Category: Received 1st Round Funding
Amount: $40,000

The New American Academy (NAA) is a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization founded in 2008 that provides multi-programs and services to immigrants in the Twin Cities, predominantly Eden Prairie residents. NAA’s immigrant clients/beneficiaries help determine the programs and services that the agency implements for them on their path toward self-reliance and economic self-sufficiency. NAA is located in the City of Edina, but serves as the only Somali led institution operating in the southwest area of the Twin Cities’ region including Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, and Saint Louis Park. The organization is dedicated to serving the East African population in this area through a combination of programs including: work in education, citizenship, housing, mentoring and tutoring, employment, civic engagement and citizen participation. In addition, NAA opens its space to the community, serving as the only Somali based community space in the neighborhood.

NAA forms active, working relationships not only with its resident stakeholders, but other nonprofits, businesses, school districts (such as the Eden Prairie School District), philanthropic sector (such as the Eden Prairie Foundation), and government entities (such as Hennepin County and the City of Eden Prairie).

Project Description:

Eden Prairie and cities along the Southwest LRT Corridor are experiencing a growing and vibrant population increase of new immigrants from East African and other ethnic immigrant community members who are resettling from other cities in our region and across our state.

After the first year of capacity-building for this project, NAA’s next steps for the 2012-2013 second-year grant period will focus on implementing specific goals, visioning, and long-term strategies that were discussed and/or proposed for second-year follow-up, steering committee action, and other implementation recommendations, that will benefit the southwest corridor impacted by this project. NAA Executive Director, Southwest Corridor Immigrant Council (SCIC), and community facilitators will continue to guide the focus groups in the identification and assessment of key sectors of the southwest corridor that will be impacted by as well as constructively benefit from using transit corridor development to expand access to jobs, affordable housing, and economic development particularly for people of color, low-income communities, and people with disabilities. The 2nd year phase of the project will expand project implementation, and the following activities will be undertaken: The Southwest immigrant community’s business entrepreneurship training classes – in partnership with/funding by NDC and Nexus Community Partners for its first phase would be expanded and included with the City of Eden Prairie. For the community engagement and outreach activities that we have been doing thus far, the SCIC will continue their activities and expand their outreach activities by using multi-media materials such as, translated flyers, videos, and maps. Success indicators will involve: (1) Provision of Equal Opportunities and Elimination of Disparities for the Underrepresented Beneficiaries. (2) Economic Growth and Competitiveness.  (3) Convergence and Synergy of Collaborative Partnerships.  (4) Creation of Benefit-Earning Permanent Employment/Career Opportunities for Disenfranchised Beneficiaries.  (5) Creation of Affordable Housing Development Units.

NORTHSIDE RESIDENTS REDEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Project Title: Northside Bottineau Transitway Organizing
Project Category:  New Applicant - Implementation
Amount: $30,000

NRRC is governed by a resident elected Board of Directors. Elections are held once a year and Board members serve two-year terms. NRRC incorporated as a 501©3 in 1969 and stands as the oldest neighborhood organization in Minneapolis. NRRC has an active transportation committee that focuses on access to public transit for underrepresented populations. NTN was formed in 2010 out of a joint public meeting organized by Harrison Neighborhood Association and NRRC. North Minneapolis leaders Bobby Joe Champion and NRRC board member Raymond Dehn have served as co-facilitators since that time. As a working group, NTN has no formal structure but is based in the passion and energy of its core group. Along with neighborhood residents, NTNs core group also includes the participation of these organizations: Harrison Neighborhood Association, Northside Residents Redevelopment Council, West Broadway Business & Area Coalition, City of Lakes Land Trust, MICAH, ISAIAH, and Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, MN Center for Environmental Advocacy and Transit for Livable Communities.

Project Description:

To secure tangible community benefits for North Minneapolis residents, NRRC and NTN will facilitate extensive outreach to engage under represented communities. Our ultimate goal is to create a more unified North Minneapolis resident-lead participation in the Bottineau Transitway planning process that will lead to clearly identified goals related to leveraging economic development, jobs, affordable housing, and access to a metro-wide transit system. Our efforts to reach these goals will also include collaboration with other North Minneapolis organizations that we are already in relationship with such as: Asian Economic Development Association, Asian Media Access, and Lao Assistance Center, Masjid An-Nur, North Point Health and Wellness, MPLS Urban League, Harrison Neighborhood Association, Heritage Park Neighborhood Association and other local groups, businesses, and institutions. Success for this project is a Bottineau Transitway planning process that respects and incorporates the passionate, intelligent, and experienced involvement of North Minneapolis’ under-served residents and organizations. This active involvement results in transit services that serve our community. The successful transit service becomes a catalyst for employment, economic development, affordable housing and contributes to a vibrant, economically successful North Minneapolis. 

UNION PARK DISTRICT COUNCIL

Project title: Building Skyline Tower Power
Corridor: Central
Project Category: New Applicant - Implementation
Amount: $28,000

The Union Park District Council (UPDC) is a 501c3 organization that serves the Merriam Park, Snelling Hamline and Lexington-Hamline neighborhoods adjacent to the Central Corridor LRT in Saint Paul.  UPDC’s mission is to “provide a forum for people in District 13 to participate in decision-making and in actions to improve the quality of life and bring about positive change in our neighborhood.” In recent years, as Central Corridor planners determined that the light rail line will run on University Avenue along Union Park’s northern border, UPDC has devoted considerable time and energy to keeping the community updated on timelines and emerging issues, gathering resident input and making recommendations on priority concerns, and advocating on behalf of the neighborhood. With an increased focus on Central Corridor, UPDC recognized that the neighborhoods north of I-94 were underrepresented on its own board and committees, as well as in the CCLRT planning process. As part of their efforts to address this concern, they increased their efforts and outreach to the Skyline community. The relationship between UPDC, the Skyline Tower Leadership Team, and the Skyline Advantage Center continues to be positive. As the partnership grows, each has recognized that the next step in engaging this underrepresented community in Central Corridor development is to have a community organizer directly supported by UPDC who is a resident of Skyline Tower.

Project Description:

Skyline Tower is an affordable housing high-rise apartment building located one block south of University Ave between the Hamline and Lexington LRT stations. It is home to around 1000 people, mostly East African immigrants. Decisions are currently being made about the Central Corridor that will impact this neighborhood and its residents for decades. However, most Skyline Tower residents have not been involved in LRT decision-making processes because of several barriers, including the language spoken at meetings, lack of transportation to meetings, and literacy issues regarding flyers, newsletters, and email updates. For the past three years, the Union Park District Council (UPDC) has sought funding on behalf of Skyline Tower residents to provide interpretation, transportation, and support services for residents so that they are able to engage in the planning and outreach of the project along the corridor.

“Building Skyline Tower Power” will connect the underrepresented immigrant population of Skyline Tower to decision-makers along the Central Corridor by hiring a Skyline resident to be a community organizer, who will work with the Skyline Tower Leadership Team, share resident perspectives, and communicate priorities and needs for Central Corridor development.  This project will allow a way to more effectively engage Skyline Tower residents as the decision-makers and organizers for their own community along the Central Corridor, with the knowledge and support of the UPDC and the Advantage Center available to help them achieve their goals. UPDC will provide supervision and administrative oversight for the organizer, and Advantage Center staff will continue to provide support to the STLT. With a Skyline Tower resident on Union Park’s staff to support the STLT, Skyline Tower residents will be fully involved in the project’s implementation and successes.