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Mattapan United preparing its 'community contract' for winter unveiling

October 31, 2012 12:42 PM
By Patrick D. Rosso, Town Correspondent

Mattapan United, Mattapan's grassroots community action group, is preparing to unveil its “community contract.”
The contract will lay out Mattapan United’s plan for the coming year, highlighting initiatives in the neighborhood it wants to target and how it will go about doing that. The contract will tackle the group’s “strategy areas,” which include open space, housing, health, business development, community fabric, public safety, and jobs.
“Our goal is to tie everything together,” said Karleen Porcena, lead organizer for Mattapan United, which is funded by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. “We want to put context into our plans.”
The plans will be unveiled sometime between December and January at a community meeting sponsored by the group.
“We’ll be showing the community this [contract] and what we’ve been doing for the past year,” said Porcena. “I think we’ve been doing well, but we’re still always trying to get more people involved.”
A rough draft of the contract was recently distributed by the group to help guide the process. The draft highlighted many aspects of the community including demographics, past planning initiatives, and current issues.
In addition to tackling the broad goals of the group, the contract will also evaluate each “strategy area,” describing their purpose, history, importance, and how it will be implemented in the neighborhood.
Some possible priorities that have emerged from the draft process include creating a more attractive neighborhood, developing infrastructure, expanding affordable housing, strengthening existing businesses, increasing jobs for youth, and promoting and advocating for farmers’ markets.