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