Category Archives: Steering Committee

Steering Committee Meeting #6: 05/15/2017

At our sixth steering committee meeting, held on May 5th, we provided a lot of updates on plan progress, from resource group feedback to our third public working meeting. We also had an engaging presentation and activity facilitated by UMSL history professor Andrew Hurley and representatives from the Missouri Department of Conservation and City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency. You can take a look at the meeting summary, notes and next steps below.

We began our meeting with a short overview of the third public working meeting, focused on neighborhood. At that meeting, we asked everyone to think about what our community will look like in the year 2030. Then, with large maps and data, we drew and wrote about our future community. A full summary of this meeting and the feedback we received can be found here.

We then discussed our process of developing and prioritizing plan recommendations for the draft Gravois-Jefferson Plan. We shared the draft plan outline and some takeaways from our meeting with the staff of Forward through Ferguson. In the coming weeks, will be developing the draft plan recommendations, which will be shared with the steering committee and community members in a format that encourages prioritization based upon criteria we will develop together.

We spent the majority of our time participating in an activity related to environmental and ecological topics, facilitated by a group of experts from UMSL, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the City of St. Louis Planning and Urban Design Agency. Their team delivered a presentation (click here to view) and led a group mapping session to discuss tree canopy, neighborhood heating, and climate change. They are currently synthesizing our feedback; I will share their report when they are finished.

As mentioned above, our next steps will involved draft plan development and prioritization. We look forward to continuing our work with all of you throughout the coming months. Thank you all for your continued passion and support.

Steering Committee Meeting #5: 03/08/2017

On the evening of March 8th, 2017, the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Steering Committee came together for their fifth meeting. Six of fifteen members were in attendance, as well as staff from Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC) and Rise Community Development (Rise). You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

We began the meeting by delivering an overview of the second public working meeting, focusing on housing. You can view that summary and additional information on the second iteration of that meeting here.

Each steering committee member then revisited the strategies and priorities we discussed at our last meeting and vetted the proposed “Resource Group” strategy, an effort to involve stakeholders in plan development, effectively increasing communication among partners, breaking down silos, building support for strategies, and sparking implementation. They also connect trained practitioners with passionate and engaged community members to develop cross-scale relationships and build a platform for sustained change.

We concluded by distributing canvassing materials, reviewing the agenda for the upcoming working meeting #2 part 2, and completing feedback forms.

Steering Committee Meeting #4: 02/01/2017

On the evening of February 1st, 2017, the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Steering Committee came together for their fourth meeting. Seven of fifteen members were in attendance, as well as staff from Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC) and Rise Community Development (Rise). You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

We began the meeting by introducing the seven focus areas for the planning process and asking the Committee to review community feedback related to each category (click the links below to see that feedback):

Each person then shared with the group what they saw as priorities in the community feedback. Specifically, three strategies within each category, one of which they think the Steering Committee can help champion. The list of these prioritized strategies can be found here. We look forward to working with this group and the greater community to carry these strategies forward.

We then asked the Committee to participate in a community history exercise, where we mapped the highs and lows of the neighborhood. This exercise was important in helping inform the memory of this community, and ensure our recommendations take into account the successes and challenges of our past. We will be bringing this activity to future events so that more people can add their stories to the community timeline.

We concluded by distributing canvassing materials, reviewing the agenda for the upcoming working meeting #2, and completing feedback forms.

Steering Committee Meeting #3: 12/19/2016

On the evening of Monday, December 19th, the Gravois-Jefferson Steering Committee convened at La Vallesana Restaurant for an informal meetup and debrief session. We began by welcoming the newest member of the Committee, Nha Nguyen. Members of the Committee discussed a variety of topics, including plan progress, key priorities, and actionable recommendations. You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

Staff from Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC) and Rise Community Development prepared canvassing materials so that Committee members could help get out the word for upcoming meetings. You can download these materials here, or get printed copies by contacting us here. Planning team staff also brought summaries of past community engagement efforts.

Members of the Steering Committee expressed the desire for short-term action steps to be taken to help accomplish the goals being set out my local residents. One of the strategies that stood out was a “Community Welcome Center” concept that would greet new residents to the neighborhood by providing them with knowledge of local resources and organizations. These welcome packets could include information on who to contact in certain situations, as well as the sort of amenities and attractions that exist in the Gravois-Jefferson area.

We appreciated the opportunity to talk informally with the Steering Committee over delicious nachos and salsa. We look forward to continuing these relationships and working together to realize key goals.

Steering Committee Meeting #2: 11/10/2016

On the evening of November 10th, 2016, the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Steering Committee came together for their second meeting. Eight of fourteen members were in attendance, as well as staff from Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC) and Rise Community Development (Rise). You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

We kicked off the meeting by reviewing the feedback gathered from residents and local stakeholders throughout the first months of this process. We shared compiled summaries that offer insight into the collective understanding of our neighborhoods. Steering Committee Members then reflected on this information, providing additional comments and clarifications based on their experiences living and organizing in the neighborhoods.

The group then participated in the creation of a Neighborhoods Vision Statement — a declared vision for the neighborhoods that will help guide the process and implementation of the plan. A draft of this statement will be shared and discussed at our first Public Working Meeting!

Transitioning from the Vision Statement, the planning staff introduced a proposal to apply a Racial Equity Framework to the planning process. This would entail considering how every decision and recommendation made addresses in and eliminates existing disparities for racial and ethnic populations.The application of such a framework is a key recommendation of the Ferguson Commission, with whom we plan to collaborate on ensuring our process aligns with their calls to action. More information on this recommendation can be found here. Committee Members agreed this was an important component of our process, and staff should reach out to Forward through Ferguson in order to develop a strategy for implementation.

Finally, the Steering Committee expressed the need for canvassing and outreach activities that target all residents, including those who may not speak English or may not have access to the internet. To address this need, planning staff is producing canvassing materials so that individuals may do outreach on their blocks. We are also working with a Committee Member to translate our materials into Spanish. Haga clic aquí para el español!

We are indebted to our Steering Committee for their service and commitment. Thank you to all those involved in the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan — it takes a village!

Steering Committee Meeting #1: 09/29/2016

On the evening of September 29th, 2016, we convened the Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Steering Committee for the group’s first meeting. Ten of the fourteen members of the committee were in attendance, as well as representatives from Dutchtown South Community Corporation (DSCC), Rise Community Development (Rise) and Lutheran Development Group (LDG). You can find the meeting’s agenda here.

During the meeting, the project was introduced and the reasons behind the specific planning area were discussed (you can find that explanation in the FAQ section). DSCC led the meeting, beginning with an overview of the community engagement process, followed by an activity where values and goals of the committee were discussed. Committee Members expressed thoughts on the following topics:

  • They affirmed need to have youth outreach events, as well as diverse representation throughout the community engagement process, including on the steering committee.
  • They expressed confidence in the group assembled thus far and want to ensure a broad and inclusive process.
  • They discussed the naming of the process, delivering recommendations that led to: The Gravois-Jefferson Historic Neighborhoods Plan
  • They expressed excitement for what happens after the plan, emphasizing the need for a strong implementation plan to ensure that recommendations are carried out.

The Committee then tasked DSCC and Rise with following up on their recommendations and preparing for the kickoff event.