A key component to the Working Cities theory of change is that we must engage diverse perspectives around strategy design and decision making. There are many leaders in the Acre neighborhood, many of whom want to be involved in their community but don’t know where to start. The best way for our partners to learn and for real change to occur, we must work with the neighborhood leaders, by inviting them to our table, with real roles, and provide the proper training so they can advocate for themselves and their community.
We have created a resident leadership work group to help Working Cities Lowell with strategy design and decision making. The long-term plan for the work group is to merge with the executive committee and/or other work groups.
Resident Outreach Team
We work with Residents of the neighborhood to develop and implement effective outreach and engagement strategies. All of the Working Cities partners struggle with outreach and engagement. We have created a resident outreach team who help spread the word of events and available resources to their networks. We have found that ‘word of mouth’ outreach campaigns are most effective, and help build trust with residents when information is being shared by peers.
Language Access & INclusive Community meetings/spaces
Language access is a main component of all Working Cities strategies. We believe that offering information in the languages spoken by the people we serve is a necessary step to inclusive engagement.
Historically, Civic engagement in the Acre is low and in an effort to address low engagement with the city decision making process, and local election voter turnout, Working Cities in partnership with Lowell Telecommunications Company and local blogger Richard Howe have partnered to create weekly City Council Summaries translated in Spanish and Khmer. The interpretations are in video format. You can listen here.
The Acre Neighborhood has had very low turnout in the last few years in all elections, especially in local elections. Due to regulations of affordable and subsidized housing, election signs are not allowed to be displayed on those types of properties. In our target area of the Acre, 1100 of 1400 housing units are affordable or subsidized, so for residents who lack mobility or connection to the civic process, there is a high chance for lack of even knowing there is an election happening.
We focus on educating voters in the neighborhood equitably, conducting outreach and engagement, and providing opportunities for residents to connect with elected officials and candidates.
Ward/Precinct Map - Find out what Ward and Precinct you belong to, which will make voting day easier
Where You Vote - Another resource to find your voting location
Voting Locations - Find out your voting location
Register to Vote - Register to vote online (or check your registration status)