Urban Update 
The monthly newsletter of the UMass Dartmouth
Urban Initiative
January 2014
A new semester is upon us, and the Urban Initiative has a great slate of work--and a great team of students to help us do it--lined up. What does that work look like? Here's a quick rundown of the types of projects we're working on:
  • Evaluating programs 
  • Conducting survey research
  • Building a website 
  • Conducting applied research
  • Supporting course-based student research

And here are the issue areas those projects will touch upon:

  • Education
  • Housing  
  • Economic opportunity
  • Financial literacy
  • Veterans
  • Food security
  • Environment 
  • Public health

We hope this gives you a better sense of how we will work to address challenges and opportunities in Fall River and New Bedford in 2014.  

SouthCoast Urban Indicators Project
We have a new education page called 'Teacher Qualities,' which measures characteristics that have been shown to impact school performance. Indicators include:
  • Evaluation ratings 
  • Average salary 
  • Diversity
  • Turnover
  • Proportion of courses taught by highly qualified teachers

As always, data is available for Fall River and New Bedford

From the blog
  • Bob Golder examines the practice of licensing dogs in New Bedford and points to the importance of policy history.  
  • Katya Starostina looks at the charter school debate through a local lens and adds some perspectives that were shared at a recent Leadership SouthCoast session on education in Fall River and New Bedford.  
  • Our monthly project update expounds on the ways our projects integrate the aforementioned strategies and issue areas.   
Recommended reading
Here is some material we suggest reading/watching/listening to for its relevance to policy issues faced by cities like Fall River and New Bedford:
  • Improving retention of the young and educated is critical for many smaller cities, but how do you hang on to talent? Here's a piece from CEOs for Cities on strategies being employed in Michigan and Ohio.  
  • House Rules aired on This American Life last November. It looks at the Fair Housing Act and the influence of the place you live on education, health, and more.  
  • What's behind MassDOT's transportation financing plan? Watch a piece about proposed projects (and dollars) on WGBH news. Look for talk of South Coast Rail around the 4:00 mark. 

Have you read--or written--something we should share here? Get in touch! 


Third Sector New England's Inclusion Initiative - Deadline: 1/31/14

Planning grants are available to support collaborative, cross-sector approaches to addressing poverty in low-income communities in MA and RI. Details here.  


Ben and Jerry's Foundation's Grassroots Organizing for Social Change program - Deadline: 3/14/14      

Grants of up to $20,000 available to nonprofits with budgets <$500K who are using community organizing and base-building strategies to accomplish their goals. More details available here.      

 Job opportunities
Do you need help getting the word out about a job opportunity? Send us your announcement and we'll share it here.

Buzzards Bay Coalition (New Bedford)
Multiple opportunities are posted; view them all here.

SouthCoast Energy Challenge
Paid internships are available; details available here.

In this issue:
SouthCoast Indicators
From the blog
Recommended reading

 About the Urban Initiative:


The UI is a division of the Center for Policy Analysis that addresses challenges and opportunities in the region's smaller industrial cities, with a particular emphasis on Fall River and New Bedford.  


In addition to conducting applied research, evaluating programs and policies, facilitating collaborations, and providing technical assistance to cities and organizations therein, the Urban Initiative serves as a knowledge base for urban policy issues in the region.


Perhaps most importantly, our work to support cities supports UMass Dartmouth students. Graduate and undergraduate students enjoy the opportunity to apply their coursework in the field by serving as paid staff and interns. If you are or know of a UMass Dartmouth student who wants to work with the Urban Initiative, get in touch!

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Contact us!


Email: urbaninitiative@umassd.edu

285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747

Website: http://www.umassd.edu/urbaninitiative/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/urbaninitiative

Twitter: @UrbanUMassD 

Urban Initiative staff

Project Manager:
Colleen Dawicki

Graduate research assistants:
Robert Golder 
Katya Starostina

Undergraduate research assistant: