City Planners, Non-Profit Groups Meet For Lunch

Brown-bag session spurs education effort on charitable groups, more cooperation.


About 27 leaders of local non-profit groups met with city planners Wednesday in City Hall's second floor conference room to discuss working with the city more effectively.

Besides introductions to Paulette Miller, Acting Director of Planning & Development and Jennifer Siciliano, City Planner/Deputy Director of Community Planning, the group resolved to do a better job of educating the public about the value of thier services, and to cooperate with the city more effectively to aid community development efforts. 

Leaders who attended included Jeanne Budnick of Blackstone Valley Independent Business Alliance, Rebekah Greenwald, executive director of , Jill Pfitzenmayer of the Rhode Island Foundation, Jan Reitsma, executive director of the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley NHC, and Chris Stephens of NRI Community Services.

"It went really well. I was really happy to see so many organizations attend," said Siciliano.

Stephens noted it's a tough job to keep people apprised of the services and value non-profit organizations contribute to the community. Pfitzenmayer agreed, adding that many people in Rhode Island are employed by non-profit organizations, a fact the general public seems unaware of.

Also, Stephens said, he'd welcome a call from someone at City Hall asking how they could cooperate to maximize everyone's limited resources.

Siciliano said the meeting was a good first step toward working more closely with non-profit organizations and getting word out about their value to the community.

"I think that this is a start to develop our relationships," Siciliano said.


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