Thursday, November 05, 2015

2015 SLACO Regional Neighborhood Conference To Be November 14 at Harris-Stowe

We invite you to participate with us at the 2015 conference, "The Power of Neighborhoods,." co-sponsored by Community Builders Network.  Registration is now open; those who prefer to register by phone or mail may do so.   As in past years, we will continually update this page.  Session titles below are approximate and subject to refinement, but any presenter names appearing here are confirmed speakers.

We will be moving the opening session to the larger space in the Emerson Performance Center,  but walk the short distance to the cozy-feeling Clay Early Childhood Center for breakout sessions.  Breakfast, registration, and an exhibitor space open at 7:45 a.m., with the opening session at 8:45 a.m.  Learning opportunities continue till 4:30 p.m., although at 2:45 p.m. there will be a break allowing those who wish to adjourn for happy hour at nearby CEL/Creative Exchange Lab, 3307 Washington Avenue. Meanwhile, a closing panel "Beyond Ferguson: Race, Community, and Social Justice" will convene in the conference space.

Rev. Starsky Wilson, Deaconess Foundation President and CEO, Co-Chair of the Ferguson Commission, and St. John's Church Pastor, will be our keynote speaker in the 8:45-9:15 a.m. opening session.  The 2015 topics will include effective neighborhood associations, effective local government, vacant land and buildings, Ferguson lessons learned, education and neighborhoods, youth, and community development corporations.

For an understanding of why this is an important activity for the City, see the conference overview page.

2015 Conference Program

Opening Session, including Keynote Address by Rev. Starsky Wilson (8:45-9:15 a.m.)

Effective Neighborhood Organizations Track

A. Starting, Managing, and Sustaining a Neighborhood Organization(9:30-10:45 a.m.)

Presenters:  Dana Malkus, Community and Economic Development Clinic, Saint Louis University School of Law; Jenny Gerstner, Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association; Rodney Edwards, Tandy Neighborhood Improvement Association

Description:  Starting, managing, and maintaining a well-functioning neighborhood association requires consideration of a variety of legal and practical issues.  The presenters will discuss some of the most prevalent legal and practical issues that arise for both new and established associations.  Some of the topics the presenters plan to address include the practical issues and legal steps related to (1) starting an association, (2) managing and recruiting volunteers and hiring paid staff, (3) identifying and managing some common association risks, (4) maintaining records and filing forms required for compliance with state and federal reporting requirements, and (5) establishing and maintaining the association's role in the neighborhood.

B. Fundraising for Your Neighborhood Association (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters:  Dan Guenther, Benton Park Neighborhod Association; Steve Hutchison, Revitalization 2000, Inc., a backbone organization of The Ville collaborative; Jennifer Weston, Lafayette Square Restoration Committee and Arts Council of Lafayette Square

Description:  from membership dues to festival booths to signature events, neighborhoods throughout St. Louis have employed different approaches to fundraising for their neighborhoods.  representatives from three neighborhoods will facilitate a discussion on different approaches to raising funds for your neighborhood, including annual events and grant opportunities.

C. Getting the Word Out in Your Neighborhood (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters:  Scott McIntosh, Benton Park West; Jen Kubiszewski, Tower Grove East; Stephanie Herbers, Shaw Neighborhood Improvement Association, Moderator

Description:  Join this discussion to discuss tips and tools for sharing news and events with residents via social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and NextDoor) and printed materials. Presenters will share approaches and lessons learned for different channels, including costs, time, and other valuable information for your neighborhood communications.

Effective Local Government Track

A. Participatory Budgeting: Deepen Democracy, Build Community and Create Equitable Public Budgets (9:30-10:45 a.m.)

Presenters:  Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, 6th Ward; Alderwoman Megan Green, 15th Ward; Jim Brasfield, Webster University, Moderator

Description:  In St. Louis City, each ward is allocated annual funding for capital improvements such as street paving, lighting, parks and recreation infrastructure and more.  Typically, each Alderman decides how to spent the ward's portion of money every year.  Using a more inclusive and transparent process, called Participatory Budgeting, Alderwomen Green and Ingrassia have allowed residents to come together and share ideas o n how they think the money should be spent.  The community members create projects and the entire ward votes on what will be funded.  The presenters will discuss the benefits, challenges and best practices on implementing a more community oriented process for any budget.

B. Do We Reinvent the Wheel or Just Build a Better Wheel?  What's Next for Our Region's Local Governments? (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters:  Jeff Rainford, Former Mayoral Chief of Staff and Public Policy Consultant; David Leipholtz, Better Together; Marius Johnson-Malone, Better Together; Joe Cavato, JAC Consulting; Julianne Stone, Local Government Partnership, Moderator

Description:  Regional issues such as racial disparity, homelessness, police services, government fragmentation, elected representation and local tax policy cause many to view our local government structure as broken.  Whether you agree or disagree join our panel fo a discussion of what needs to happen to move the car in a better direction.  Does responsibility for change sit with local officials, state officials, citizens, public policy groups?  Is government the symptom or the cause?  How can citizens and community groups have an impact?  With the wealth of knowledge we possess and so many proposals, agendas, concerns and requirements on the table, how do we get there from here?

C. Aldermen/women & Neighborhoods: How Can They Work Better Together?  (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters:  Jennifer Florida, Former Alderwoman; April Ford Griffin, Former Alderwoman; Craig Schmid, Former Alderman, Moderator

Description:  Do you have an opinion about the performance of aldermen/women, or wonder what they do and why they do it?  Well, here's your chance to express your opinions and engage in a facilitated discussion about what aldermen/women must do, could do, should do and shouldn't do.  Audience participation is required, so come prepared.  What do aldermen/women think the role of neighborhood organizations is?  Three veteran former alderwomen/men will freely explore (no holds barred) these questions and reflect their experiences of how neighborhoods and aldermen/women can work better together to achieve an even greater City.

Vacant Land and Buildings: Preparing for Action Track

A. St. Louis's Big Problem: Vacant Land (9:30-10:45 a.m.)

Presenters:  Lewis Reed, President of the Board of Aldermen; Otis Williams, St. Louis Development Corporation; Sarah Coffin, Saint Louis University; Sudarsan Kant, Harris-Stowe State University, Moderator

Description:  St. Louis is like many "Shrinking Cities" that have decreasing or stagnating populations.  Without a robust real estate market, large chunks of land fall victim to disinvestment and eventual abandonment.  Learn about current City policy, alternative strategies the City is considering, and best practices that other Shrinking Cities have adopted.

B. Vacant Buildings: A Depreciating Asset (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters:  Ruth Keenoy, Landmarks Association; Sal Martinez, Community Renewal and Development, Inc.; Carla Allen, Harris-Stowe State University; Mark Abbott, Harris-Stowe State University, Moderator

Description:  Every neighborhood in St. Louis is faced with the problem of vacant buildings.  In some parts of the city, the cause is an over-abundance of LRA properties.  In other communities, the problem is the inability of owners to make the properties marketable or that homes have fallen into the "never-never land" of probate court.  Learn about potential remedies that are applicable to your neighborhood.

C. Organizing a Coalition Around an Issue (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters:  Martin Rafanan, Jobs with Justice; David Gerth, Metropolitan Congregations United; Marlon Lee, Urban League; Pat Dougherty, Moderator

Description:   Since SLACO has adopted “vacant land and buildings” as its advocacy and action issue for the next three years, we posed this question to this very experienced panel, “What are the first steps an organization should consider when contemplating ally-building at the City-wide level?”   Each panelist has stories to tell about building an effective coalition with a view to changing policy, empowering people, and/or taking action as appropriate.

Education and Neighborhoods Track

A. The Impact of School Quality on Neighborhoods (9:30-10:45 a.m.)

Presenters:  Jerome Morris, Des Lee Professor of Urban Education, University of Missouri St. Louis; Dan Monti, Saint Louis University

Description:  After a brief introduction of how urban neighborhoods seem to be tackling the perception of low quality of some schools, panelists will put current discussions about race, schooling, and educational financing in the St. Louis area in the context of the larger demographic changes that have occurred in the area in the last 50 years. They will discuss the inability of neighborhood groups, school boards and officials (and even the federal courts) to manage (much less anticipate) the effects of all the demographic and economic changes that have occurred.  Audience members will be asked to reflect on their own experiences of how school quality impacts the neighborhood.

B. Adopting Your Neighborhood School and Vice Versa! (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters:  Lisa Dorner, University of Missouri Columbia, Moderator; Norah Ryan, Roosevelt Community Council; Amy Trapp, Involved Parent at St. Louis Language Immersion Schools--Chinese School; Pacia Anderson, Cherokee Street Reach

Description:  Presenters will share their experiences developing partnerships among community organizations, neighborhood associations, and local schools.  Specifically, each panelist will present how school and community leaders worked together to create safer neighborhoods, develop innovative enrichment programs, and support children's educational success.  Discussion will center on the challenges and successes of such partnerships.

C. How Quality Out-of-School Programs Help Neighborhoods (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters:  Gloria Hampton, Neighborhood Houses, Moderator; Dawn Winkler, United 4 Children; Liz Peinado, The North Campus; Keisha Caruthers, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis

Description:  Each panelist will share her own perspective about why after-school programs are impactful for neighborhoods, as well as what the neighborhood can do to support different types of after-school programs and other “out-of-school” programs that might include summer, before school, and school vacation periods.  Dawn Winkler will be able to address how neighborhoods might think about the quality of the programs available to their children.

Ferguson Lessons Learned Track

A. A Call to Action: The Community’s Next Steps After the Ferguson Commission’s Report (9:30-10:45 a.m.)
Presenters:  Monique Thomas, Assistant Director, Ferguson Commission; Jim Wild, Executive Director, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, Host and Moderator
Description:  The Assistant Director of the Ferguson Commission will provide an overview of the Commission’s work, including highlights of the signature priorities in the Commission’s report. Focus of the session will be helping the audience understand how implementation and sustainability can occur after the Commission sunsets on December 31, rather than giving a primer on the contents of the report.  Time will be provided to engage the audience in understanding what audience members have identified as their top priorities.

B. Building Inclusive and Trusting Neighborhoods (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)
Presenters:  Sean Thomas, Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group; Rodney Norman, West End Neighbors; Jody Squires, One Ferguson; Mary Wilson, Fox Park neighborhood; LaKricia Cox, One Ferguson, Moderator
Description:  Presenters will discuss the impact of neighborhood organizations, the value of diversity and the need to engage all citizens in decision making that influence and shape their communities.  Representatives will share tactics and effective approaches to strengthen and unify fragmented communities affected by acts of exclusion and injustice.  Strategies including community dialogues, town hall meetings, and city council debate forums will be discussed.

C. How to Balance Support and Disdain for Police in Urban and Suburban Neighborhoods (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters:  Dan Isom, University of Missouri St. Louis; Andrea Boyles, Lindenwood University-Belleville Campus; Pernell Witherspoon, Lindenwood University, Moderator

Description:  Although research indicates that most African Americans support police, the breakdown in trust continues to haunt police/citizen relationships. Presenters will discuss the significance of history, importance of outward group support of police, and broken promises that all contribute to the effects of police/community relationships.

Youth Track

A. How to Recruit, Train, and Retain Youth (9:30-10:45 a.m.)

Presenters:  Keith Antoine, St. Paul Saturdays; Kofi Ansa, Community Activist; Kolangie Bettis, SLACO Y.O.U. program participant; Mike Reid, SLACO, Moderator

Description:  While St. Louis boasts many, many organizations doing positive work in youth development, this session will zero in on how to recruit, train, and retain youth to become interested in civic engagement.   Keith Antoine and Mike Reid will discuss their experiences in training the next generation of neighborhood and community leaders, while recent Young Organizers University participants will share their program experiences and daydreams about how a neighborhood might invent an attractive, broad-based program to engage youth in neighborhood solutions.

B. Ready by 21 St. Louis: A Regional Vision with Local Implementation for Impoved Outcomes for Youth   (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters:  Katie Kauffman, Hannah Allee, and Tammy Vaughn-Walker, Ready by 21

Description: Nearly 100,000 children live in the City of St. Louis and millions of dollars are spent annually on programs to improve education and child well-being outcomes.  yet we're not seeing the kind of population level change needed to ensure a brighter future for our region and our kids.  We'll update you on the work of Ready by 21 St. Louis, seek your input about neighborhood actions that feed large scale change, and provide action steps you can take to engage your neighborhood in regional work to support children and youth.

C. Pathways to Education and Jobs and Jobs for Youth (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters:  Justin Raymundo, Diversity Awareness Partnership; Alice Prince, SLATE; Laurie Bainter, College Bound, Moderator

Description:  In a recent survey published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, more than half of employers that responded across a range of industries reported having trouble finding recent graduates qualified to fill positions at their company or organization.  Presenters from College Bound, the St. Louis Agency for Training and Education (SLATE), and Diversity Awareness Partnership will discuss how their organizations work to support diverse, inclusive, and equitable pathways for college access and workforce development.  The panel also will discuss collaborations and partnerships in these efforts as well as how we can grow collective, community efforts for students in our region.

Community Builders Network Track

A. Building Our Community Together: Best Practices for CDC-Neighborhood Association Collaborations (9:30-10:45 a.m.)

Presenters:  Darrell Coons, BASIC (Belleville Achieves Strength in Character) Initiative; Jim Schneider, City of Belleville; Jenny Ryan, Community Builders Network of Metro St. Louis, Moderator

Description:  Presenters will discuss the evolution of structures fostering collective impact among the many participants in the Community Development Network, cooperating Not-for-Profits, and Neighborhood Associations amid a climate of political divisiveness.  Strategies including community engagement with a strengths-based, solution-focused approach, partnership, collaborations, and a spirit of inclusion will be discussed.

B. STL's Rebounding Neighborhoods: What Can We do to Preserve Affordability and Diversity? (11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.)

Presenters:  Hank Webber, Washington University; Molly Metzger, Washington University

Description:  what are the trends in St. Louis neighborhoods and what can local residents do to stabilize their communities?  Our research on neighborhood change over the past forty years shows that many neighborhoods in the St. Louis region have lost population and jobs, but others, principally in the Central Corridor, have rebounded economically.  We will discuss these rebound neighborhoods and discuss efforts to preserve affordability and diversity, highlighting the example of City Garden Montessori School and Voices of Women, who are working together to insure that their South City neighborhoods remain affordable and diverse.  Finally, we will facilitate a conversation about what types of strategies and tactics are appropriate for different neighborhood types.

C. How to Work with Residents to Do a Community-Based Plan  (1:30-2:45 p.m.)

Presenters: Liz Pund, Skinker-DeBaliviere Community Council; Tim Breihan, H3 Studio; Don Roe, Planning and Urban Design Agency, City of St. Louis, Moderator

Description:  Learn how to engage residents in your community and neighborhood in order to develop a strong community plan. Liz Pund and Tim Breihan will discuss their experience and work on the Skinker DeBaliviere Urban Design and Development Plan, a neighborhood plan that involved residential and community organizational input. Hear about the best practices for creating a community based plan that gathers feedback and input from a wide variety of community stakeholders. Moderator Don Roe will share his perspective on this particular planning process, neighborhood-scale plans in general, and the process of City approval of plans.

Lunch Honored Guests (12:30-1:15 p.m.)

During lunch, those who attend may choose one of the following classroom guests.  The intent is for the audience to have maximum opportunity to ask questions and interact with these guests, who have been asked not to prepare detailed presentations and instead to respond to those who participate.  Confirmed choices include:

-Representatives of the new Disproportionate Minority Contact Committee dealing with inequities in the way minority juveniles are treated within the justice system

-Paul and Angelee Brockmeyer, Founders of the website giving parent information about their school choices

-Deanna Venker, City of St. Louis Traffic Commissioner, who can address issues such as traffic calming, traffic signs and signals, bicycle and pedestrian issues, and many more

-Carl Filler, Director of Strategic Policy Initiatives and Community Partnerships, Mayor's Office, and colleagues who will talk with participants about a comprehensive approach to crime

-Ryan McClure, CityArchRiver

-Jasmin Aber, Creative Exchange Lab work in neighborhoods

-Glenn Burleigh, Equal Housing Opportunity Commission, a conversation about potential implementation of Ferguson Commission recommendation on increasing Affordable Housing Trust Fund funding, the "affirmatively furthering fair housing" rule, and fair housing in general

Closing Session (3:00-4:30 p.m.)

Panel "Beyond Ferguson: Race, Community, and Social Justice."  Moderated by Reena Carroll, Diversity Awareness Partnership.  Panelists: Joseph Heathcott, New School for Social Research; Catalina Freixas, Washington University; Jonathan Smith, Saint Louis University; Reynaldo Anderson, Harris-Stowe State University

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