"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Regional Plan Association

Location: CT, NY & NJ

Website: www.rpa.org

It gives us great pleasure to welcome you to Regional Plan Association. We hope that you will find our website a helpful resource for information and a useful tool for two-way communication about our far-reaching initiatives and programs.

For 90 years, RPA has been an indispensable source of ideas and plans to policy makers and opinion shapers across the tri-state area. RPA's in-depth studies, relentless advocacy and staying power ensure that critical transportation, urban development, housing and open space projects move forward across business downturns and election cycles. And RPA's America 2050 program is advancing national efforts to strengthen our aging infrastructure and protect vital natural resources.

Just consider some of RPA's recent successes:

- RPA has been helping guide the region's development of climate change and resiliency strategies, calling for a new approach to the way we manage storms in the tri-state region.

- In December 2012, RPA co-hosted an event on the New York City's future after Superstorm Sandy at which Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid out his vision for the city, and former Vice President Al Gore called on political leaders to do more to confront the threat of global warming.

- RPA published influential research on why large infrastructure projects take so long to complete in the U.S. and how the work could be accelerated.

- Other prominent research quantified the expected increase in housing values in Queens and Long Island as a result of the Long Island Rail Road's future connection to Grand Central Terminal.

- In June, RPA convened more than 125 national experts on large landscape conservation to discuss how to ensure that wildlife habitat, water supplies and working farms and forests throughout the U.S. Northeast are protected for future generations.

- RPA's America 2050 and the Business Alliance for Northeast Mobility continued to build the case for investment in our rail system nationally and in the Northeast corridor. America 2050 has become a national leader in the debate on high-speed rail, and where and how federal and private funds should best be employed.

- RPA's annual Assembly is New York's premier civic event, bringing together nearly 1,000 top business, civic, philanthropic and government leaders from across the metropolitan region and the country. Each year the Assembly focuses on a priority issue.

The 2012 Assembly, "Bold Plans - Big Innovations - Bright Future," on April 27, 2013, featured high-level panel discussions with the region and nation's leaders on economic development, housing, sustainable design, energy, mobility, technology and governance. The program featured a keynote address by Mayor Bloomberg. The 2013 Assembly will be held on Friday, April 19.

Last year's Assembly also served as the culmination of the first Transit Leadership Forum, a weeklong summit, hosted by RPA, for the leaders of the world's largest and most dynamic transit authorities, who shared their experiences and ideas on how to deal with the myriad challenges running integrated transit systems. A second summit will be held in Singapore in March 2013.

It has been and will continue to be a unique time for RPA as we work on the front lines to find sensible solutions in tough times. Unquestionably, what RPA does best - bringing together diverse interests, advising government and private interests, and providing recommendations based on smart policies - is what will be the driving force in making monumental and sustainable changes happen.

We look forward to continuing to plan for the future of our region and around the nation.

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