The Hartford Resident Advisory Board met in early October to review and rank the community proposals submitted to the Action Lab.
The Action Lab considered 11 proposals for its inaugural cohort of projects, representing a diverse collection of organizations, projects, potential methods, and neighborhoods around the city. The Hartford Resident Advisory Board (HRAB) ranked these proposals based on whether they help improve Hartford and lead to high-quality learning for students, as well as whether they represent a wide range of Hartford community groups.
HRAB is made up of engaged Hartford residents who were selected because they are active in city life, live in the city of Hartford, and are familiar with academic research. You can find out more information about the Board members on our People page.
Out of the 11 proposals received, 6 were given the highest priority ranking:
The Eviction Consequences project proposes to investigate how Hartford residents came to face eviction, their experiences with the eviction process, and the immediate and long-term ramifications of their evictions on their families.
The 15 Dollar project plans to explore why some employers choose to pay $15 an hour, even in low-wage industries, collecting testimonials and creating a website to tell their stories.
Hartford Public Library’s Parent Engagement project proposes to examine global best practices for engaging immigrant and refugee parents on topics related to their children’s education. The students will research current immigration and refugee settlement patterns throughout Hartford and work with HPL’s Immigrant Youth Project Manager on engaging program participants’ parents and guardians in dialogue around goals and objectives.
The Mapping Blight project plans to investigate the connection between poor housing conditions and health, using GIS mapping and results from Community Solutions’ blight survey to produce interactive maps.
The PILOT Messaging project aims to address the budgetary problems that the city of Hartford encounters because a high percentage of the city’s land parcels are owned by government or nonprofit institutions and are therefore not subject to taxation. By producing and testing a variety of messaging products, students will find which messaging strategies are best at convincing non-Hartford residents to support full payment of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) funds.
The Creative Placemaking project takes a close look at the Nook Farm area of Asylum Hill (which includes the Mark Twain House, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and Hartbeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater), connecting the historical significance of this site for creative and intellectual pursuits with current studies in “creative placemaking”–development projects that leverage the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to serve a community’s interest while avoiding gentrification.
All proposals were strong, and you can read about the other proposals on our proposal page. Receiving a high ranking from the HRAB does not guarantee that a proposal will become a project team due to scheduling and staffing.
Now the real fun begins! Students may apply to take part in an Action Lab project team before Oct. 31. Faculty members from all Hartford Consortium institutions may apply to be a faculty fellow for an Action Lab project, receiving a stipend of $1,000, by Oct. 31.