Comments and presentations about partnerships from the Denver conference.
Photo credits: above left: Rail~Volution; center: Port Authority; right: Courtesy RTD Denver.
Watch Mayor Libby Schaaf: "Oakland Girls Hustle Harder" (:34)
Asked at the Rail~Volution conference about the partnerships needed to make a city hum, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf started her answer by saying, “Oakland girls hustle harder” and “I love other people’s money.” (Watch the video above.)
The mayor of the third-largest city in the Bay Area (and 45th largest in the US) went on to describe the kinds of partnerships underway in Oakland. Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto and Denver mayor Michael Hancock also responded, in a plenary conversation lead by Maurice Jones, President of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The videos of their conversation are here (scroll down to video: Innovative partnerships needed for cities to succeed, 14:19).
Collaboration and Partnership are core values at Rail~Volution. We believe that we accomplish more through collective action than through individual efforts. Our network of people and institutions — connected by common values and goals — is our greatest asset.
Partnerships in Oakland
Here’s more from Libby Schaaf’s response to the question about partnerships:
Bike share sponsored by Ford. Schaaf said the city insisted on an equity component, which led to a $5.00 annual membership fee for low income residents. They hit the goal for memberships in the first couple of months. The city also partnered with local groups to promote bike share (see Scraper Bikes). Also see a KQED story about bike share in Oakland.
Oakland Fund. This is a private nonprofit that allows the city to accept private funds to innovate. “People are not hot to innovate with public dollars,” said Schaaf. One use of the fund has been to provide a financial allowance to lower income neighborhoods to participate in a new city-wide project, Paint the Town, which puts murals in city intersections. In a similar example, donated funds support city-wide involvement in a new kind of PSA–Public Sidewalk Announcements.
“As we see federal and state backing away, we need to find new partners.” Pittsburgh Mayor, Bill Peduto
Pittsburgh is a very civic driven place, said Mayor Bill Peduto, noting that it has the nation’s second largest philanthropic sector per capita. While he gets feedback from people worried that partnerships mean privatizing public assets, he said the assets remain public. With a decline in federal and state sources of support, options are limited. “You can either let it fall apart or find civic-minded partners,” he said. “Look at the equity you have in the city. Create a vision, then look for the partners to deliver your dream. It’s not privatization. It’s the only way to get things done.”
“The public sector leans in . . . and changes the landscape” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver called this approach “the new normal,” adding, “to deliver, you have to have creative financing.” Denver’s new Union Station is a case in point. Once derelict, the rehabilitated station is a model multimodal hub, full of activity inside and out (as Rail~Volution attendees found out first hand at the opening reception). As a city council member, Hancock voted 13 times, he said, to fund rehabilitation. The City of Denver invested $500,000. The area around Union Station has seen $3 billion in development, including affordable housing, Hancock pointed out. The debt was paid off in 7 years.
For more about partnerships, see the presentations from these sessions the Rail~Volution conference in Denver.
Successful Public-Private Development.
Daniel Guimond/EPS (Denver, CO);
Jolinda Marshall/Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Austin, TX);
Dan Cohen/McWhinney (Denver, CO).
Denver Union Station.
Presentation by Bill Sirois/RTD (Denver, CO).
For more presentations and videos, follow the links to the 2017 Conference in Denver. The presentations we received are posted with session descriptions.
Also see Rail~Volution’s Find an Expert tool. Search the network of our partners and conference presenters.