Last week, MAPC celebrated the many accomplishments made possible by our 2009 $4 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, and to recognize the Sustainable Communities Consortium, partners, and staff who poured their hearts and souls into this work.We were greatly honored to be addressed by US HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who was instrumental to the success of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities. Secretary Donovan spoke about the program having been a new approach: connecting issues, and connecting the federal government with local leaders. “MAPC’s commitment is remarkable,” said the Secretary. “[This] is just the kind of work we wanted to support.” His complete remarks, along with those of all the speakers, can be found on video here.
It was an honor, too, to hear Jim Canales, the new President of the Barr Foundation, offer salient remarks about what he’s named his “Three Cs”: Cross-sector collaboration, capacity building, and citizen engagement. “Reach across silos,” he advised. “Engage in cross-sector collaboration. Under his watch, President Canales said, “Barr will be open, thoughtful, and transparent.”
Amy Cotter, MAPC’s Regional Plan Implementation Director, gave the audience a flavor of some of the many projects that have yielded – or are on their way to yielding – important results. There are place-based projects, toolkits, policy change, dialogue and capacity building, data analysis, and more; each, in a small or large way, helping the region become more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous.
Marc Draisen, MAPC’s Executive Director, delivered a rousing call to action. “The region is increasingly interdependent,” he said, “as is the world. We can’t do it one community at a time. Change is possible — with work and collaboration.” To that point, Mr. Draisen urged Consortium members to join the newly formed Metrofuture Implementation Advisory Committee.
Not least of the event’s buzz centered around the posters prepared by project managers and partners, and the important, high-impact work achieved under the grant thanks to the dedication, creativity, and hard work of the staff, partners, and the Sustainable Communities Consortium.