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Northside Planning Council - NPC
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NPC Executive Director’s Column: June/July 2018

Abha Thakkar

One of the most challenging aspects of running a community-based organization is the gap between what’s needed and what we have capacity for, and that gap is never more poignant than when this community experiences violence.

We know all too well the trauma that follows every incident. We know that teachers and students at a Northside school were rightfully afraid during a recent lockdown, mostly from a lack of forthcoming information. I also personally feel the frustration of our cycle of holding community meetings after the fact. I want something more for us.

The Northside is incredibly lucky to be working with the City on the Safe and Thriving Community initiative (see page 1). We actually have resources right now to put towards mitigating violence. But the reality is that it’s a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of the next 15 months. The root causes of violence run much deeper than that. Fortunately, all the partners involved in that initiative are aware of that, and our focus has been on building long-term capacity in the form of new leaders, trusting partnerships and sustainable programming.

For our part, the Northside Planning Council (NPC) is working to implement a variety of evidence-based initiatives with the Neighborhood Navigators, including the Northside Community Council to better coordinate collective action; Parent Cafes and Community Conversations around parenting, violence, fear and trauma; partnering with Willy Street Co-op, Community GroundWorks, The River and others around food security issues; voter registration to overcome disenfranchisement; identifying and engaging leaders among our communities of color; and strengthening the Northside’s communications infrastructure so we can all stay better informed.

Our hope is to foster an ongoing conversation around these issues rather than simply being reactive. Get in touch if you’d like to be involved: director@northsideplanningcouncil.org.

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.

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