Community Planning Group Minutes, May 30, 2019

Location: Parker-Varney School

Community Planning Group Member Present: Amy Allen, CJ Chretien, Amanda Egan, Donna Crook, Jennifer Gillis, Norma Gonzales, Joede Brown, Kimiya Parker-Hill, Liz Kirwan, Meredith Young, Liz MacDonald, Trinidad Tellez, Deo Mwano, Katie Labranche, Anthony Poore

Community Planning Group Members Not Present: Michael Delaney, Mike Skelton, Anna Thomas, Diane Fitzpatrick, Patricia Lynott, Will Kanteres, Christina Buti, Rev. Eric Jackson, Nicole Lora, James O’Connell, Forrest Randsell, Abigail Gemme

Also present: Barry Brensinger of Manchester Proud, Rachel Lopkin and Adam Rubin of 2Revs and Evelyn Aissa, Liz Canada and Annmarie Timmins of Reaching Higher NH

The meeting came to order at 5:30 p.m.

Discussion of CPG’s role/engagement

–CPG members expressed interest in greater participation in the planning process and  ownership of the plan.

2Revs will draft a plan that includes Reaching Higher’s community engagement feedback, additional data and research 2 Revs has collected, and input from the CPG.  2Revs will give that draft plan to the CPG for feedback, editing and additions. The CPG will then decide how to share the plan out with the community and will play an essential role in getting community feedback.

2Revs will create a shared Google Doc where CPG members can seek answers to their questions.

–CPG members had clarifying questions about the role of the MP Champions Council in the planning process.

The decisions about this plan will be made by the CPG. The Council is not writing the plan or making decisions about it. Council members are the founders of this movement. Their passion ensuring the focus stays on public schools, community engagement, and comprehensive inclusivity.

–CPG members could be trained to lead Visioning Sessions and hold them throughout the summer. Getting more people involved with this process will help MP become more credible to more people.

–Some members of the public have asked for further transparency about MP’s funding sources and how its resources are used. CPG members want to be able to answer these questions accurately.  Much of this information can be found on the MP website, under Frequently Asked Questions.

–MP Council provides periodic updates to the BOSC. It would be helpful to have CPG members participate in these updates to help share the progress of the planning process.  

–The role of the CPG’s spokespeople is to address media inquiries, not the inquiries CPG members get from friends, associates, and members of the public. CPG members are strongly encouraged to talk with their networks about MP.

–Should the CPG rethink where it holds any future Visioning Sessions? Get into the communities, not just the schools.

–Some CPG members asked if there were roles/tasks they could take on to feel more ownership over the process and plan. 2Revs will create a list of roles CPG members could take on.

Next CPG meeting, June 19, 2019

–The CPG would like the June 19 meeting to be more productive and provide them an opportunity to have more ownership:

        CPG members will prioritize which hunches the plan should address

        CPG members would like a longer meeting that starts earlier

        2Revs will provide CPG members data prior to the June 19 meeting

CPG members will come to the June 19 meeting having read the data and prepared to have a productive meeting.

Due to conflicts and vacations, nearly half the CPG was not at this meeting. CPG members who were there are responsible for catching up the members who were absent.

The Plan, its purpose and sharing it with the community

–This is not a traditional five-year plan. This is a movement with big, medium and small ideas for the future.

–How do we share with the public the quantitative and qualitative RHNH provided to CPG members? That data made the need for MP’s work more clear and compelling for some CPG members. It confirmed what some already believed. Some concluded that trust was more broken than they thought. The experiences of students who feel disenfranchised were hard to hear.

Does the CPG convey that data via a film or a community experience? Does the CPG have a traveling exhibition to all parts of the city? CPG has to get the data out to the community so the community knows what CPG knows.

–Last year’s community engagement work revealed that many in the city do not believe they have an individual connection or impact on BOSC decisions or funding for schools.

–Are there other pieces of data the CPG should study? Do school administrators, the city planning department, BOSC (session on leveling) or other groups have data that would be useful to understanding the city’s needs?

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.