Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Insight to policy creation

Last week the neighborhood development departments across nine different neighborhoods sat down to flesh out, in the coordinators words, Strategies and Activities regarding how grant money will be distributed in the next fiscal year. There were two other meeting before this one that developed a mission statement and a set of Indicators. The organization describes the four Indicators as categories that the nine neighborhoods want to focus the grant money on. The strategies are areas under the indicators that can be measured using an activity.
To pose this as a landscape architecture example the Indicator is to promote healthy life style choices, the Strategy (one of many) would be having people become conscious of where there food comes from, finally an activity would be to coordinate with a farmers market to distribute information regarding food miles.
Developing the strategies and activities took a day each and while it went alright on the first session it seemed to have fallen apart on the second day. I personally felt that if the sessions were held a week apart then everyone could have had a moment to breathe and reflect. However I still found this whole process really fascinating because throughout school I had read one case study after another- and as I would read through the documents it never occurred to me to think about how the policies that cities neighborhoods and communities follow are created.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Essentially I left on a jet plane

So it has been a while since my last post but I decided on adding more content to the blog in weekly installments. Since it is the top of the week and Labor day I figured it would be a good time to fill you in on what type of content this page will host.
With my freshly stamped college degree in hand I signed up with the Americorps as a member of the Vista sect. For those that do not know what the Americorps are, it is a United States volunteer based program working with the goal to fight poverty in communities. It is a really great program where you get to view what organizations are looking for and submit an application based on how qualified you think you are with the idea in mind that you have a one year contract.
I submitted my application to the Agape Community Center located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here I am working under an urban planner and with one other Vista member to develop relationships with two separate communities, host community brainstorming workshops, and help carry out programs the community finds is a right fit for their neighborhood.
So with that said I started work last Monday, while there was a period of being filled in on office protocol we were also assigned the neighborhoods that we would begin to foster a relationship with. The other Vista member, Brianna, is to focus on Fairfield a primarily commercial area while I am to focus on Old North Milwaukee which is primarily residential. By no means are these solo efforts it is always important to know that there is a team, no matter how big or small, behind you.
I would rather not make this unnecessarily long given that I do not have any pictures to break up the monotony of a solid block of text, so I will leave it at this till the next time.