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Northside Planning Council - NPC
(608)444-6640 director@northsideplanningcouncil.org

NPC Chair Column: Feb./March 2017

Lisa Wiese

The Northside Planning Council (NPC) today is barely recognizable as the organization it was when I rejoined the board in June 2015. Struggling financially to keep FEED Kitchens from failing, the small band of board members was no match for the taxing demands of NPC’s mission. The NPC itself was also operating without an executive director. Amid this disorder, the keystone program for the entire organization became the Northside News. Editor Abha Thakkar consistently continued to publish a quality neighborhood newspaper even while its foundation, NPC, eroded. When Abha called me to ask if I would consider rejoining the NPC board, her message was straightforward — unless a lot of people pitched in right away, NPC would fail. She was right. NPC was ready to collapse, both financially and in terms of community support.

In July 2015 we appointed Abha as interim executive director. Enter an army of volunteers, some of us pulled back in by Abha because of past experience with NPC, others inspired by her energy and community vision. After many months, with volunteers spending ten thousand hours (not an exaggeration) on countless tasks, Abha has guided NPC to stability. Now, the NPC has been restructured as a community development corporation that will manage resources on behalf of the community while continuing to develop leaders and empower our neighborhoods. Abha brought a vision of what NPC could achieve and the enthusiasm to make it happen. She also brings a determination to succeed and confidence that NPC will thrive as long as we keep moving forward.

In December we hired Abha Thakkar as permanent executive director of NPC. Thank you, Abha, for what you’ve given to this community. No salary could compensate you for the work you’ve done to stabilize NPC and invigorate community involvement.

And to all the community members who helped get NPC back on track, thank you for investing your time for the benefit of us all. It is one of the strange truths in life that the most important work you do will invariably end up being the work you do for free.

Northside Planning Council

The mission of the Northside Planning Council is to improve the quality of life and foster equity on the Northside through community organizing and economic development.

Our Major Initiatives

Northside Economic Development Coalition

Northside Economic Development Coalition

MarketReady

MarketReady