August Working Cities Wednesday

Working Cities Wednesday

August 2019 Pitches

Group 1

Topic: Wellness Meditation Group

Leader: Soncere Williams



Next meeting date: Touch base via email in two weeks


  • Healthy twist of vulgarity
  • Makes people giggle, uplifting
  • Accessible to multiple areas in community
    • Locations, childcare, language, liability?
  • Positivity advocate

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Contact following locations
    • Christian Center, Pittsfield Senior Center, Library, Crane Center, Tyler St Lab, Veterans outreach, VA Clinic, Community connections, 18 Degrees Family Resource Center, BCC, Soldier On, sleep study program
  • Finish template for proposal
  • Start FB group
  • Contact pitch

Resources you may need:

  • Contact info for agencies/locations listed above (which we know where to get)


Kayla / BHS /

Kate Lauzon / Working Cities / 413 841 5841 /

Joseph Fish / 516 507 4980 /

Ranisha Grice / Working Cities / 413 841 0234 /

Group 2

Topic: Getting a “trishaw” bike in Pittsfield

Leader: Nicholas Russo

Phone: 413 841 8425


Next meeting date: 9/25/19


  • Cost/fundraising
  • Volunteers
  • Storage/maintenance
  • New paradigm of transport
  • Zero emissions/noise

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Think about possible sponsors/donors
  • Prepare marketing materials, powerpoint
    • Shuttle service, sightseeing
  • Volunteers/free rides vs. employees/charter
  • Talk to:
    • Elder services, BCARC, BFAIR, United Way innovation grant, Rose and Cole’s (possible fees?), BRTA (visitor), historical/educational institutions, First Fridays, Tyler St Lab, City of Pittsfield

Resources you may need:

  • Insurance/liability consideration (pro-bono)
    • Brad Gordon (mediator/lawyer)
  • AARP Cycling Without Age (need for point 2 re: marketing, shuttle etc)
  • Volunteers, enthusiasm
  • Research in Northampton


Nicholas Russo

Nycole Gallagher / BUW / 413 329 2278 /


Ernest Huffman / Working Cities / 413 752 2760 /

Group 3

Topic: Tenants Rights Association

Leader: Sera Bishop

Phone: N/A

Email: N/A

Next meeting date: 9/25/19


  • Desire to create a committee to assist in addressing tenants rights
  • The existing problems of tenancy
  • Who do we get this info out to?
  • Existing resources- so we don’t duplicate with this info
  • How will people want to engage with this as a tenant? In person? Paperwork to print?

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Reach out to set up another meeting
  • Brainstorm ideas individually
  • Organize some of the resources we know of so they can be combined.
  • Chain of command- what is the chain of command to hold officials accountable?

Resources you may need:

  • Law library
  • Check in with Kenny Warren
  • Hearing other people’s stories and complaints they’d like addressed/questions they have


Karen Roche / Working Cities / 413 841 5519 /

Dubois Thomas / Habitat for Humanity / 413 442 3181 /

Karen Kalinowsky / 413 329 0397 /

Gaylamar Artis / PIVAT / 413 841 1321

Renee Singh / 413 358 7440 /

Kevin Morandi / City Councilor / 413 499 0108 /

R.A. / RLC / 413 841 4497

Group 4

Topic: Ambassador Continuation

Leader: Amarie Starr

Phone: 917 565 6891


Next meeting date: N/A


  • Funding sponsors
  • We will keep this program up and running
  • Age gaps
  • How many hours can get funded?
  • Benefits
  • Tour people, get assistance parking
  • How can you help me? Helping residents
  • The color of your shirt makes a difference- bright orange

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Talk to city council and ask about the tourist station
  • Talk to the sponsors
  • Do research on what orgs can use ambassadors

Resources you may need:

  • Community navigators
  • Banks
  • City Councils
  • The BRTA bus station


Ranisha Grice / Working Cities / 413 841 0234 /

Jessica Jones / 770 337 4723 /

Virgina O’Leary / Pittsfield Prospers / 334 750 3132 /

Sam Reggio / Berkshire Athenaeum / 413 499 9480 /

Amarie Starr / DPI / 917 565 6891 /

Cheyenne Vanbramer / DPI / 413 464 5937 /

Group 5

Topic: No Bullying Flashmob

Leader: Sherrie Bethel McGregor

Phone: 415 841 4466


Next meeting date: N/A


  • Saturday at farmer’s market
  • Jacob’s Pillow rehearsal
  • Annual Flyer
  • Social media

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Contact employers
  • Community center
  • High school
  • Elizabeth Freeman Center (flyer)

Resources you may need:

  • Flyers / music / PA system
  • Dance class / teacher
  • Volunteers
  • City hall permit



February Working Cities Wednesday

More than 30 people braved a snow storm noting, “this is my favorite meeting of the month,” to attend February’s Working Cities Wednesday at The Christian Center. They had such a good time, they were still chatting at 7:45 pm, well after the meeting ended. What it is about this meeting that keeps people coming back? “The positive energy” and “seeing everyone again,” really makes a difference.

The following pitches were discussed at the meeting. If you would like to get involved in any of them, please contact the pitch lead or us here at Working Cities Pittsfield.

Topic: Jacobs’s Pillow Bus
Lead: Thasia Giles
Summary of discussion:

  • Explore transportation options, seeking accessible bus
  • City of Pittsfield United Cerebral Palsy
  • Relationships- people to people- work with groups for organizing each weekend, with families

Three things to do before the next meeting

  • Schedule video showings at the Christian Center Library
  • Contact Senior Center as a pickup spot
  • Elliot looking into RSVP group
  • Highlight “Picnics at the Pillow”

Resources you may need:

  • Ginny looking into United Cerebral Palsy contacts.
  • Look into including Becket in the route.
  • Create a “Pillow Playlist”

Topic: City government education workshops

Lead: Alisa Costa, 413-442-0003
Summary of discussion:

  • Wanting to engage people in the advocacy process leading up to elections to understand the importance of voting in local elections. Where do you get stuck with city and state government?
  • Need for family education for getting various services
  • Why is it so complicated to do anything- housing, health insurance, online job applications?
  • What are our rights as tenants, resident, homeowner etc?
  • Not understanding city vs state vs fed
  • Evenings work best for this type of workshop series

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Pitch again at next WCW
  • Lay out marketing strategy – identify possible locations for workshops.
  • Need to ask more people to help guide curriculum.

Resources we might need:

  • Input from residents
  • A location for workshops

Topic: Summer Program
Lead: Debbie Vall, 413 443 2828
Summary of discussion:

  • Create project-based learning focused on leadership and career readiness
  • Arts based programs partnering with Berkshire Taconic Fund grants, RAPID, open Friday, Barrington Stage

Three things to do before the next meeting:\

  • Apply our RAPID grant- plan what art programs
  • Find out who many kids 21st Century can take
  • Josh will write up his plan and share with group

Resources you may need:

  • Kas- grant writer
  • Guest judges to rate kids’ projects

Topic: Addressing impact of community violence
Lead: Kathi Riley, 413 822 2292
Next meeting date: 3rd week of March at Brien in Chris’ office during day if possible.

Summary of discussion:

  • Ideas include creating a memorial in a community
  • Don’t forget to include all people who participated in or experienced the violence
  • Root causes/overdose/families of perpetrators

Three things to do before the next meeting:

  • Create mural for those who have passed away

Resources you may need:

  • Pittsfield Prospers music (Joshua)
  • Funding
  • Common/space, summer, Brien Center recovery