Rosengren visits Working Cities teams in Fitchburg, Haverhill, and Lowell
Checking in on three Massachusetts Working Cities Challenge winners
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President & CEO Eric Rosengren visited Working Cities Challenge winners Fitchburg, Haverhill, and Lowell, Mass. on July 19 to learn more about the progress being made in each of the cities.
Rosengren began the day at Fitchburg State University, where he met with Fitchburg community leaders focused on bringing significant change to the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. ReImagine North of Main is a partnership between local businesses, government, nonprofits, and residents dedicated to improving the quality of life in their neighborhood. The effort came to be as a result of the Working Cities Challenge.
Core partners, ranging from the City of Fitchburg to Fitchburg State University, gathered to highlight the extensive economic development, community engagement, and neighborhood development work since the initiative's inception—including four transformative pipeline projects that have harvested $100 million in public investment. Fitchburg's Theater Block project, development around the Fitchburg Art Museum, and other efforts are helping to build a vibrant, thriving economy, lively neighborhood, and connected community.
Rosengren then visited Lowell's Acre neighborhood, which is one of the city's most ethnically diverse and economically challenged areas. The Lowell Working Cities Challenge team is committed to improving the lives of Acre residents through a variety of efforts focused on education, inclusion, resident engagement, and increasing employment opportunities. Rosengren met with core Working Cities Lowell partners at the Coalition for a Better Acre (CBA)—including representatives from CBA, the City of Lowell, Lowell Community Health Center, Career Center of Lowell, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, and Jeanne D'Arc Credit Union, among others—who noted that the Challenge has provided them with a unique opportunity to partner to address community needs.
Rosengren also toured the Acre neighborhood—including visits to improvement projects focused on making the neighborhood more appealing and safe—before meeting with Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue.
Finally, Rosengren visited Haverhill's Mount Washington neighborhood and met with leaders, partners, and residents involved in the Mt. Washington Alliance. The Alliance is a coalition of businesses, nonprofits, governmental agencies, schools, and others focused on expanding opportunity in the neighborhood through programs and resources for improving education, employment, and neighborhood life.
Rosengren toured the neighborhood and heard from the Alliance about recent community engagement efforts, known as the "Q-Campaign." The Q Campaign is a resident outreach effort designed to learn about challenges in the neighborhood. It brings together community members through weekly events whereby neighbors can "come out of their comfort zones and get to know one another," talk about happenings in the neighborhood, and discuss strategies for improvement.