The towns of Acton, Boxborough, Littleton, Maynard, and Westford, Massachusetts, received a Community Partnership Award for their CrossTown Connect program. The five towns are located close to each other, and are approximately 20 miles Northwest of Boston. The commuter rail line into Boston was limited and affected the ability of area residents to get into Boston for work, elderly residents to get to medical appointments and social events, and low-income residents had very limited transportation options in the area.
Driver assists resident onto the Road Runner Van at Acton Council on Aging Facility
The five towns worked together with the Massachusetts Institute for Transportation Coordination to identify their needs. The towns received a grant to regionalize transportation services and put a formal association in place for future collaboration. The result was CrossTown Connect, which provides an online database that matches people with similar commutes for carpooling, assistance with vanpool formation, emergency cabs or rental cars for carpoolers who need to leave work early for an emergency, and information about commuter options and management of transit benefits.
Meeting the transportation needs of more than 20,000 riders and 5,000 employees while reducing traffic congestion and air pollution and increasing economic development opportunities, CrossTown Connect is well positioned to fulfill its goal of creating an economically thriving and socially equitable region.
Inclusion Task Force
Renton, Washington, received a Community Partnership Award for Building an Inclusive City. The eighth largest city in the state, Renton saw growth of 82% from 2000-2010 and the minority population grew by 165% during this time period. Non-white groups now account for over 50% of the city’s population.
In recognition of the city’s changing demographics, Building an Inclusive City was launched. The city made this initiative a priority by revising the city strategic business plan to include inclusiveness and diversity as part of the mission statement, integrating diversity at every level of the organization, and scheduling open dialogues and conversations with community members. A network of community liaisons represent 10 different ethnic, cultural, and diverse groups.
Building an Inclusive City has seen many accomplishments, including providing emergency preparedness training and workshops in four different languages, targeting ethnic media to provide key information to minority residents, and helping to create Renton’s Small Business Development Center to provide business assistance to nearly 115 businesses, of which almost half are minority owned.
More information is available on all of these award-receiving programs in the ICMA 2015 Awards Booklet.
About the Awards Program
ICMA’s Local Government Excellence Awards honor creative contributions to professional local government management and increase public awareness of the value of professional management to the quality of life in our communities.
Community Partnership Awards, one of four program excellence categories awarded each year, recognize innovative programs or processes between and/or among a local government and other governmental entities, private sector businesses, and individuals or nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life for residents or provide more efficient and effective services.
Nominations for 2016 will be accepted through March 9 and awards will be conferred during ICMA’s 102nd Annual Conference in Kansas City, September 25-28, 2016. For more information, contact Felicia Littky, awards program manager at email@example.com) or phone 202/962-3656.