The Community Engagement Team, part of the Corridors of Opportunity initiative, was formed to create a process for engaging and involving underrepresented communities in all aspects of planning, decision-making and implementation along our region’s proposed transit-way corridors. In 2010, Nexus Community Partners, along with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and the Minnesota Center for Neighborhood Organizing, were invited to serve as the CET team. The team knew that if they wanted to accomplish their goals, they needed to create a strong partnership, so the three organizations spent time getting to know one another and building trust. This early work was critical and built a foundation upon which the partners were able to accomplish far more than they imagined.
After just two years,
The Community Engagement Team’s accomplishments include:
• Distributing $750,000 over two years to support 19 community-based organizations and building awareness to more than 25,000 traditionally underrepresented residents about transitway development and decision-making.
• Designing decision-making structures and processes that are community-driven, including a community-based Grant Review Committee and a Community Engagement Steering Committee.
• Playing a leadership role in helping the Corridors of Opportunity develop a definition of Equitable Development, as well as a Principle of Equitable Development that was adopted by the Metropolitan Council (Met Council).
• Working with the Met Council to develop equity criteria used in ranking Local Implementation Capacity Grants.
• Creating an infrastructure that ensures communities are benefiting from development opportunities beyond the Corridors of Opportunity funding.
• Replicating the work in other cities across the country.
The CET continues to bring together and work with representatives from the public, government and non-profit sectors to build and advance working relationships and find common areas of work. By linking neighborhoods to regional institutions, decision-making and economic opportunities, the CET is helping to ensure more integrated, equitable and sustainable change in the Twin Cities region.
Learn more at www.engagetc.org