“Citizen participation is the opportunity for citizens—especially low- and moderate-income citizens of a community where CDBG-funded activities will take place—and relevant stakeholders to participate in an advisory role in the planning, implementation, and assessment of programs and projects.”U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Citizen participation is a crucial part of the process for both the CDBG and HOME programs. It allows the Brockton Redevelopment Authority to do the following:
- Identify unmet needs not captured by standard data sources
- Set funding priorities that reflect the diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic needs of communities.
- Allow access to coordinated and transparent decision-making that consistently includes diverse communities
- Developing programs that promote access for diverse populations
- Establish a strong foundation for conducting future citizen participation processes that can be enhanced over time with new lessons learned
We’ve done a Q&A with the BRA’s Interim Executive Director, Dr. Patricia Jackson, and discussed the importance of Citizen Participation. Check out what she had to say.
Over the past several months the Brockton Redevelopment Authority has experienced quite a bit of changes. Can you walk us through your journey to where you are today?
Dr. Jackson: We have gone through extensive changes. We have reorganized the staff but have also come together to realign how we deliver services to the community. We need citizen input and participation to inform us on areas where we can improve. We are striving toward continuous improvement so that we can effectively ensure that we are carrying out the mission of the organization.
Can you tell us more about your new role and some of the changes that have occurred at the BRA?
Dr. Jackson: To be honest, I’m still figuring out my role. Robert Jenkins was such an integral part of the city of Brockton and the BRA. My goal is to pick up where he left off and carry the torch forward. I want to empower the team here, the citizens in the community, and all those that the BRA interact with.
What would you like to tell the people who are concerned about the future of the BRA? How do the current changes affect the programs run by the BRA?
Dr. Jackson: The BRA is a living, breathing organization. We won’t get things right on the first, second, or even the third try; but have faith that we are trying. We are trying to improve the organization to ensure that we are delivering the best services to the community. The BRA, no matter who is at the helm, is here to serve the residents of the city of Brockton.
What does citizen participation entail for you? What is its importance and why?
Dr. Jackson: Citizen participation involves using your voice; vocalizing your concerns, comments, and suggestions. We at the BRA cannot be everywhere, and we won’t always get things right, so it’s important to have citizen participation to ensure that we stay steadfast to the mission.
What can you tell us about what’s coming up for the BRA? How can people stay connected and aware of all the new stuff going on?
Dr. Jackson: We are continuing to grow. We are implementing more programs and bringing on more team members to make sure that we are putting our best foot forward to service the community. You can stay connected through our social media pages, our website, and through all of our reporting such as the CAPER, CONPLAN, and our Annual Action Plan.
How can people get involved with what’s going on at the BRA right now?
Dr. Jackson: Come visit us. Our doors are open, and we would love to speak with you. You can also attend our public meetings and voice your concerns, suggestions, or to just say hi.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
Dr. Jackson: People don’t understand the importance of their voices. They think that the Brockton Redevelopment Authority is solely development or an organization that services the city of Brockton but we in fact service the people who reside, who work, and who patronize the city.
The BRA is made up of people who are here for you. We are passionate about growing this community and all those who interact with it. We aren’t perfect; we never will be. But we strive to give our best every time, and also work to serve you. However, without your feedback, we won’t know where we can improve, and that’s an integral part in the success of this organization.
It’s NOT too late!
On Wednesday, September 6, 2022, at 6:00PM, the BRA will be holding a public meeting to discuss the draft for the FY22 Annual Action Plan. You can check out the FY22 AAP Draft and submit comments, questions, or concerns until Monday, September 11, 2022. If you’d like to attend the public meeting, be sure to register as soon as possible. Registration will be open until the start of the meeting.