Signs of Progress Series: Funders Collaborative Director Jonathan Sage-Martinson

The new vitality that’s developing along the Central Corridor comes from something more than the fresh concrete and shiny steel of the Green Line. Communities are transforming themselves — by learning together, coordinating across boundaries and working for impacts that benefit everyone. 
At the Annual Stakeholder event in April, seven representatives of these efforts talked to other community stakeholders about the process and impact of the changes we see unfolding across the corridor. This is the second in a series of blogs featuring these signs of opportunity. Watch a short video clip of remarks by Funders Collaborative director, Jonathan Sage-Martinson, and see below for a summary of his remarks. 
Jonathan gave an overview of the Funders Collaborative and its focus on four desired outcomes in the Central Corridor: building a Strong Local Economy, creating Transit-Oriented Places, ensuring Affordable Housing and fostering effective Coordination and Collaboration. To achieve these outcomes, the Funders Collaborative has held more than 2 dozen learning sessions on a variety of topics, granted more than $8M through 105 grants and currently supports 9 collaborative groups working across sectors to create implementation strategies.
He highlights a few examples of this work, including:
  • The Big Picture Project has created an affordable housing strategy for the Corridor which sets a ten-year goal of preserving or building 4,500 long-term affordable housing units, as well as helping 1,500 households stay in their current homes. There are about a dozen initiatives underway already to help achieve these goals.  
  • The Business Resources Collaborative has worked to determine the right set of support practices necessary to help businesses during this time of transition. Through its 13 member organizations, this group has coordinated programs worth about $11M serving needs from parking to marketing to technical assistance to lending programs.  
  • The Central Corridor Anchor Partnership is a group of 13 educational and medical institutions along the corridor working on improving their own institutions as well as the neighborhoods around them. They are focusing on 5 key strategies:  joint purchasing, local hiring, encouraging employees to live along the corridor, making connections from the LRT stations to their campuses and coordinating the engaged scholarship of their students and faculty.  
  • The newly formed Cultural Corridor effort is building on the unique cultural and historical aspects of many locations along the Corridor to create sustainable local business districts and vibrant destinations.  
So how does all this work and progress add up to the Signs of Opportunity that we are seeing across the corridor? At the end of his presentation, Jonathan demonstrates a new map on the Funders Collaborative website showing where the programs and projects of these working groups are creating opportunity for all.  
Watch for upcoming posts featuring more highlights from the event.