February 28 Working Cities Wednesday

Another great crowd filled the First United Methodist Church with great energy and ideas this month. If you want to learn more, contact the lead of any of the projects outlined below.

group at table
Neighbors discuss planting trees

Building enthusiasm for trees in Pittsfield: Greening the Gateway Cities Program
Lead Name: Elizabeth Orenstein elizabeth@thebeatnews.org (413)717-1255

Summary of Discussion:

  • Trees provide beautification, shade, green color, birds, wildlife, and a lush green feeling.
  • Trees for special life events or to commemorate someone; memorial trees, celebration trees, birthday trees

Three things to do before next meeting:

  • Contact 8 more churches
  • Create new advertising postcard
  • Contact schools in the planting zone
  • Contact veteran groups in the area
  • Reach out to local groups: BMC, Kenan House, Churches, SoldierOn, VFW, Elks, Schools, City parks, apartment complexes, housing developments

Resources you may need:

  • Community support- Let’s talk about trees!
  • People to attend tree walks
group in large circle
Neighbors discuss how to support local high school students

Supporting Students w/ Social Action
Lead Name: Erin Sullivan esullivan@berkshirechildren.org (413)448-8281 x.236

Summary of Discussion:

  • High School students taking part in social action and protest are being harassed online
  • How do we support the students with positive message without stifling their voices or redirecting focus?
  • Support behind the scenes and encourage students to feel empowered and heard.

Three things to do before next meeting:

  • Reach out to the principals and superintendents
  • Reach out to students
  • Letter writing campaign
  • Support scheduled events
  • Send positive messages

Resources you may need:

  • Write letters
  • Support from the schools
group around table
Neighbors discuss creating video interviews

Living Historic Record: Video interviews
Lead name: Zach Durso zachariD@gmail.com

Summary of Discussion:

  • Create a living historic record of Pittsfield
  • Have a list of 40 starting questions to gather information from interviewees

Three things to do before next meeting:

  • Come up with people to interview
  • Decide on a timeline
group at table
Neighbors discuss quality of life in Pittsfield

Quality of Life Feedback
Lead name: Carolyn Valli cvalli@berkshirehabitat.org (413)442-3181

Summary of Discussion:

  • Data from previous WCW meeting surveys shows that more information on services/resources/opportunities needs to get out into the community.
  • Government on many levels is not seen to be responsive
  • Changes are happening in how we access information

Three things to do before next meeting:

  • Put actions to ideas
  • Compile even more info

Resources you may need:

  • Time
  • More surveys
  • Continued planning
group at table leaning over map
Neighbors strategize bike paths

Pittsfield Bike Trails
Lead name: Nick Caccamo ncaccamo@cityofpittsfield.org (413)441-6461

Summary of discussion:

  • Identified biking “good” roads
  • Points of interest for riders to reach
  • Connection to bike trail, create a loop

Three things to do before next meeting:

  • Think about additional roads
  • Organizations to contact, New England Mountain Bike, Berkshire Bike and Board
  • Look at maps of current paths and routes

Resources you may need:

  • Engineering: Parking restrictions, road widths
  • Access to maps

The next Working Cities Wednesday will be held on March 28 from 5:30 -7:00 pm at the Christian Center, 193 Robbins Ave., Pittsfield.

Join our team

Do you care about your neighborhood and want to make it a better place? Do you know a lot of people who could use a little extra help? You can earn some extra cash while helping your neighbors.

Job Title: Working Cities Community Navigator
Reports to: Working Cities Initiative Director
Time and compensation: estimated 5-15 hours per week, $15/hr

People from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Summary: Working Cities Pittsfield (WCP) is a community led partnership where everyone works together toward the goal of a just, thriving, and safe community. We view Pittsfield as a community of hope and opportunity, where all residents are actively engaged in shaping their city. WCP is hiring part-time Community Navigators who will work within a team to connect residents to needed resources, represent WCP and its model for change within their community, and serve as local experts in community outreach and engagement.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

(The duties listed below are intended only as examples of the various types of work. A lack of specific tasks does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar or related to the position.)

  • Connects residents to public resources of the city, school district or geographic area and assists in any calls or filling out forms as needed
  • Participates in, coordinates, and/or attends community events such as community forums, as a representative of the WCP team
  • Distributes information to residents to describe what, where, and when city resources are available to them
  • Conducts outreach to neighbors in group or one-on-one settings in various locations including but not limited to community events, local agencies, civic forums
  • Participates in gathering community data to assess programs, identify barriers and perceptions, and the need for additional community resources, etc.
  • Participates in trainings and Working Cities Wednesday meetings related to the WCP mission to build and maintain current knowledge base of available resources in City of Pittsfield
  • Serves as a positive ambassador for the Working Cities’ mission
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications may include

  • Good problem solver
  • Ability to work within a team
  • Spark, imagination, and creativity are important
  • Good knowledge of the community resources available within the City of Pittsfield
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • Self-starter, well-organized, with excellent follow-through
  • Ability to work comfortably and respectfully with diverse people
  • Basic knowledge and use of computer applications such as spreadsheets, word processing, calendar, e-mail and database software preferred, training will be offered if necessary
  • Willingness to learn as you go
  • Ability to read, write, understand and communicate in English well enough to perform the essential functions of the position
  • Bilingual skills in Spanish a plus
  • High School Diploma or equivalent required; or direct relevant experience required/preferred
  • A current driver’s license and available vehicle is preferred

Must be able to work flexible schedule, some nights and weekends.

Please send a resume or a list of matching skills and knowledge along with a cover letter to berkshirebridges@gmail.com no later than March 14.