ROXBURY, MA -- The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) held its 31st anniversary Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 24th at St. Patrick’s Church, 400 Dudley Street, Roxbury. The highlights were the competitive community election for the Board of Directors for 2015-2017 with seats for neighborhood residents and community partners. This lively example of democracy in action is held every two years with the community voting for their representatives on the DSNI Board of Directors.
This year 49 candidates ran for the DSNI Board resident and institution positions. This competitive field of candidates showed strong interest from residents and community institutions. Everyone is concerned about the neighborhoods future. Hundreds of people voted for their neighbors and other representatives to guide the neighborhood revitalization. 61 percent are residents representing African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean and White; some have lived in the neighborhood all their life and some have recently moved to the neighborhood. Four are teenagers and several are elderly. 39 percent are community partners including businesses, religious organizations, community development corporations and agencies. The photos and trilingual statements from all the Board candidates are available on DSNI’s Facebook page and at the website at www.dsni.org.*
In the “State of the Village” report, Executive Director Juan Leyton talks about 31 years of organizing and planning has accomplished so much in sustainable economic development, youth opportunities and development and community empowerment with a strong commitment to becoming a neighborhood where all of our children and young adults have access to excellent education, higher education and career with the family and community support they need to achieve, connect and thrive.
The DSNI Annual Meeting and Community Elections mark the thirty-first year of the neighborhood-based revitalization in the one-and-a-half square mile area of Roxbury and Dorchester. The signs of success are demonstrated by resident leadership in the transformation of over 800 vacant lots into over 500 new houses, over 560 renovated houses, a community land trust, two community centers with the most recent being the Joan & Ray Kroc Community Center, the Dudley Town Common, new and improved parks, gardens, schoolyards, and playgrounds, 2 new schools, a greenhouse, street improvements, business growth and storefront improvements and so much more. The Dudley neighborhood continues to guide the neighborhood rebuilding while preserving affordability and equity. With less than 500 vacant lots to go and a focus on economic power, leadership development, youth opportunities and development, this is an inspiring work in progress.
* Elected Board of Directors for 2015 - 2017:
African-American, Latino, Cape Verdean, White and Youth Residents:
Sr Margaret Leonard
Partner Agencies, Businesses, CDCs and Religious Organizations:
Bird Street Community Center
Boston Workers Alliance
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation
Dudley Economic Empowerment Project
The Food Project
Madison Park Development Corporation
Orchard Gardens K-8 School
Qunicy Street Missional Church
St Patrick’s Church