Short Term Goals, 1-year plan
In 2018, the RRM continues to grow in organizational and functional capacity which will facilitate new projects in community engagement, advocacy, and community engagement. The organization continues to prioritize its role of fostering “collaboration” between parties and organizations towards increase efficiency and advocacy. We recognize ongoing challenges that have been identified in a recent needs analysis conducted through the City of East Providence’s Office of Community Development, including support for family wellness (child care, nutrition, etc.), low community engagement, and the lack of education and employment opportunities. Beautification of Riverside Square and protection of our unique environmental resources, particularly our waterfront, bikepath, and parks, continues to be essential ingredients to community morale and economic development. Most prominently, the RRM aims to engage with the EP Chamber, new developers, and business owners to further the vision of Riverside as an incubator for a small business economy.
2018 Prioritized Project & Advocacy Goals:
- Create a formal definition of “membership” in the RRM. For a long time, “membership” has been represented by the names on our email list, but over time people have come and gone and this “count” has become inaccurate. In order to better track and promote participation, a formal definition of “membership” is necessary.
- Expand the role of the RRM as a central “hub” or “forum” for collaboration and alignment of efforts among community organizations and stakeholders. Riverside has been fortunate to see a growth in nonprofit and business ventures. While many of these agencies take on a specific purpose (e.g. the arts, education, healthcare), they also share common goals in the betterment of our neighborhood. The RRM is in an important position to promote dialogue, collaboration, and efficiency across various agencies.
- Increase community participation in the meeting and activities of the RRM. This involved developing a marketing strategy to increase awareness of the RRM’s activities and achievements. It also involves improving our web presence through a more functional website and update social media posts. Finally, it involves improved marking through a logo and visual representation of our community and organization that can be used to build identification and enthusiasm.
- Continued focus on beautification and economic development in Riverside Square. The Square is our “downtown” and possess much potential for small business development. The RRM will continue to support small business growth through “Buy Local” campaigns, advocating with city planning, educational opportunities, and other activities. The RRM continues to advocate for “work-live” space that promotes a “downtown” atmosphere within Riverside Square. Overall, our interest is in attracting developers and business owners that not only invest in the community, but also who have an interest in being engaged.
- Continue to address the odor issues from the City of East Providence Water Treatment Plant. The plant is located right as people enter Riverside Square (driving or biking) from the North and the foul odor becomes the “first impression.” There has been success in understanding what is causing the odor and some initial interventions aimed at reducing it (with varying success). The RRM will continue to work with city officials and the Suez managers to address this problem.
- Increased attention to beatification of the Willett Avenue business district. This year the RRM aims to expand beautification efforts beyond Riverside Square to the proximal Willet Avenue business district facilitated through upgraded Street Signs and an adopt-a-spot initiative.
- Provide educational opportunities that foster community development and engagement. The RRM has been a supporter of educational programming provided through our educational committee in partnership with other organizations, particularly the EP Library, St. Brendan’s Church, the City of East Providence, local businesses, and other organizations. We aim to launch our first courses focusing on starting a small business, opportunities in publishing and writing, and others.
- The RRM continues to advocate for improved access to nutritious food for families. The RRM has long been an advocate for addressing hunger in the community, and the recent needs analysis for the Community Development Office further suggested that there is a large unmet need for quality, fresh produce and nutritious food options in our community. The RRM aims to work with the City Planning Dept to explore options to address this need.
- Ongoing advocacy for protection and preservation of the Looff Carousel. The Looff Carousel is a hallmark of our community and a living museum to the history of our region. Over the years, it has experience much wear and tear, and is in critical need of attention. The RRM will advocate for ongoing preservation efforts, including current plans to make the Carousel more economically viable to cover needed repairs and maintenance.
- Ongoing marketing and attention of key properties in Riverside Square. The VAMCO site continues to be a large vacant plot in the heart of Riverside Square that currently is an unmaintained eye-sore. Given its history as the site of a factory, there are challenges to re-development, but the site also possesses tremendous potential. The “Buckett’s Building” in the heart of the Square and home to numerous small businesses is also for sale. The RRM will help market these properties and will attempt to engage future owners in community development efforts.
- Promote Community Safety
- Increase Recognition of Waterfront Issues (water quality & run-off, coastal erosion, etc.) and Advocate for Environmental Protection and Clean-up Efforts
- Advocate that the City of East Providence Develop a Plan to Re-develop, Re-purpose, or Re-Open Oldham School on Bullock Point Ave.
- Continue to Advocate that Housing Developments promote Mixed Income, Integrated Communities, and that Affordable Housing Remains a Priority of Community Planning
- Promotion of the Arts in Riverside, including Recognition of Artists within the Community, Promoting Small Business Development around the Arts, and Using Affordable Housing Opportunities to Promote a Growing Community of Artists.
Ongoing Administrative & Organization Goals:
- Maintenance of nonprofit status, including maintaining annual filings for 501(c)(3) status, taxes, registration with the Secretary of State, and D&O Insurance coverage
- Maintenance occupation of all Board positions
- Meeting Attendance. Increase meeting attendance by at least 10% targeting areas of Riverside currently not represented (e.g. the Terrace, Veteran Memorial Parkway, “Downtown,” and western regions of Riverside bordering Barrington).
- Events. Conduct or support at least 4 community building and/or promoting events in addition, such as a fairs, festivals, etc. Conduct at least 2 social events to promote membership and recruitment to the RRM. Conduct at least 2 community clean-ups
- Fundraising. Fundraise a gross total of $8000 for FY2018 investing at least 75% back into community projects. Increase private donation, in-kind donations, and grants by at least 5%. Continue street sign fundraiser by selling an additional 15 decorative signs that will replace those for the streets branching directly off Riverside Square or Crescent Park.
- Meeting Guests. Continue to invite relevant guests to the monthly General Assembly, including representatives from the East Providence Beautification Committee, EP Recreation Department, EP Police Department, etc.