The City of Boston is opening a new Office of Civic Organizing (OCO) and Mayor Michelle Wu named Henry Santana as its inaugural director.
The OCO will work on partnerships and programmes that create more opportunities for residents to play an active role in their communities. It will also support and hold other departments accountable for how they are engaging with residents.
Henry Santana (Image: City of Boston)
“A fundamental part of our recovery must be growing community connectivity,” said Mayor Wu. “This new Office of Civic Organizing will mobilise residents to get involved and shape how we support our communities.”
Santana was previously an Associate at MFS Investment Management and before that worked for Boston City Councillor Kenzie Bok.
“I am ready to bring the skills and values I have developed in my previous roles and showcase them under this administration. I look forward to connecting residents to the city government in new and creative ways,” Santana said.
Love Your Block
The Office of Civic Organizing will oversee programmes such as Love Your Block and the City Hall On the Go Truck, which brings city services to convenient locations around Boston.
The 2022 Love Your Block Mini-Grant Program provides up to US$3,500 in funding to support clean-up and beautification projects.
Previous Love Your Block initiatives have included community garden projects, a ‘yarn bombing’ installation that engaged people in discussions around domestic violence (pictured), and park improvements.
The OCO will also work with residents on year-round clean-up events and a tool lending service for neighbourhood revitalisation projects.
“The addition of the Office of Civic Organizing to the Community Engagement Cabinet builds on our commitment to empower residents to get involved with their local government through civic engagement,” said Chief of Community Engagement, Brianna Millor.
A Project and Digital Manager has also been appointed to serve under Santana.
Other emerging job titles that highlight strategic priorities in cities include chief heat officer, digital equity director and green economy manager. In December, Wu appointed Jascha Franklin-Hodge as Boston’s Chief of Streets.
The post First head of civic organising appointed in Boston appeared first on capitaltribunenews.com.