Reclaim Roxbury is a community organization called to action to ensure a future in which local enterprises are sustained, the rich heritage of the community is celebrated, environmental sustainability and socio-economic equity remain priorities, residents have a voice in how their needs are met during current and future development planning processes with full transparency, opportunity for wealth creation, and youth empowerment is fostered. We envision a future for Roxbury where the needs of all become the concerns of all and where Roxbury residents seek to achieve policies that lead to peace and prosperity for all.
Reclaim Roxbury is a broad based community effort dedicated to improve the quality of life and economic wealth for all Roxbury residents. We envision building a democratic participation of its residents including youth in all civic, cultural, and economic life of the community in response to the need for sustainable development, environmental and socio-economic equity that links businesses, community organizations and other sectors with the well being of its residents. This effort is framed by the community’s articulation of a set of core values and principles set forth by the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan to guide current and future community planning process.
Reclaim Roxbury was born from the need to produce a community guided and formed process for the disposition of public land and development in Roxbury. There has been no community-led planning process for Roxbury in 13 years since the 2004 Roxbury Strategic Master Plan, yet there is a hot market for development across the city. Roxbury residents must deal with the displacement and gentrification that is happening currently in Roxbury in order to stay in the community.
After seeing proposals for developments pass his desk daily, District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson formed a partnership with Professor Ceasar McDowell at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning department and his students, and the initial framework of Reclaim Roxbury was hatched. City Councilor Tito Jackson had his class do an analysis of gentrification, development population growth, organizations, coalitions and businesses in Roxbury in 2015, with the goal of updating the Roxbury master plan. The information was so stark that Councilor Jackson realized that a mere update to the master plan would not keep up with the severity and speed of gentrification and displacement.
After an initial convening and input from community members we collectively decided to update the master plan and form a community wide, community governed movement. The purpose of this movement is to ensure that as Roxbury develops, it meets the needs, desires and requirements of Roxbury’s current and historic residents. This led to a series of meetings, every last Thursday of the month over the course of a year.
The community meeting, “Reclaim Roxbury: Roxbury Planning for Roxbury Residents,” held on December 3rd, 2015 brought together 130 residents and representatives from a range of community organizations and institutions. At this meeting, participants came together to discuss a set of concrete strategies for influencing planning and development in Roxbury: an organizing strategy, a strategy for governance and decision-making, a strategy for developing standards and intentional process design, and an information strategy. Working groups formed around each strategy, and a set of action items was identified for moving forward over the next three months.
From these initial meetings a strategy was set forth by Roxbury Residents to:
- Develop standards for development for Roxbury residents based off the needs of Roxbury residents living here now
- Create an email list and website to show information on development with a community calendar,
- Continue to inform and organize Roxbury residents about PLAN:Dudley and other major development projects in Roxbury that could have displacing effects.
We have been focused currently on the special planning area Plan: Dudley, including Parcel P-3 “Tremont Crossing”, but support all anti-displacement efforts neighborhood, and city-wide.
Please join the fight to Reclaim Roxbury!! email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.