BECDD recently attended the Financial Institutions Community Development Conference this past October and asked participants "Are Community Development Organizations Important for Detroit Neighborhoods??" Here's what they had to say...
"Some of Detroit’s crisis is….democracy – growing leadership both in our existing leaders and the rest of us. We also have to be aware of the resources we need to do the work that neighborhoods must do. How do we do that, politically? – engaged citizens vote more…so CDOs are most important to empower, educate and bring our neighborhoods together."
"Imperative for …neighborhoods to have an organized platform to advocate for housing & economic development needs and priorities….that assures residents are engaged"
"Yes, but the important CDOs listen to what community members actually need…CDOs have the ability to combine interests with needs through a fresh pair of eyes…"
"Yes, because the process of getting a business going in Detroit neighborhoods is very complex for the average resident"
"…they know the needs of the community the best…they are closer to the needs, problems…"
"…Boots on the ground!....they are connected to the needs and wants of the residents."
"…A CDO can give residents a voice in identifying needs, problems and businesses that are undesirable."
"CDOs are important ONLY IF they provide legitimate impact….this impact needs to be measured and evaluated."
"Yes! CDOs help to protect and maintain the housing stock and other real estate…in the neighborhood. When they are strong we know by what we see….a well-positioned CDO has the ability to help city government protect a neighborhood from vacancy and blight."
"Yes, because without them, who give low-income neighborhoods the attention they need and deserve?"
"Yes!!! Because every neighborhood has ….legitimate needs that are not/will not/should not be met by government."