Supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs
Pastor Kelly Chatman, of Redeemer Center for Life in the Harrison neighborhood of North Minneapolis, has seen the impact light rail projects can have on communities. While living in Portland, Oregon, and then Washington D.C., he experienced the waves of investment and development that can accompany major transit projects. He’s also seen the challenges they can present if communities aren’t prepared to capitalize on opportunities for community and economic development.
That’s why he says participating in the Bottineau Community Works Health Equity Engagement Cohort (HEEC) has been such a valuable experience. Made up of 13 community organizations along the planned Bottineau LRT line, the HEEC works to build capacity in Bottineau corridor communities, so they can play a pro-active role in planning and preparing for the transformational opportunities of LRT.
“I very much view the work of the HEEC and Bottineau Community Works as a pro-active approach,” he said. “It helps develop the political acumen to know how these systems function […] The HEEC really allows us to have a collaborative voice and develop the knowledge to be a part of the process.”