Institute of Urban Policy
Institute of Urban Policy

IUPRA report has direct impact on southeast Georgetown

In 2015 IUPRA received a competitive grant from the Georgetown Health Foundation to conduct a needs assessment on southeast Georgetown that concentrated on the voices of the community. The final report from the project had a number of recommendations, including a severe need of public transportation for the community and a need for the city’s leadership to consistently make connections with people in the southeast Georgetown community. Since the report’s release a number of changes have happened in Georgetown, some of which are directly traced back to the report.

In August of 2017 a fixed route bus system was put into place for the community, a need that the southeast Georgetown population had been asking for for a number of years. One of the report’s recommendations stated that public transportation was the single most discussed critical need mentioned in not only general public focus groups, but also in conversations with young adults and seniors of the community. The bus route launched in southeast Georgetown to much praise from residents. GHF heard stories of bus riders crying with joy and groups riding on buses to pray over them.

Another critical need to come out of the IUPRA and GHF report was for leaders and policy makers to connect with members of the southeast Georgetown community in meaningful ways. Focus group participants mentioned time and time again the lack of connection to their civic leaders and the feeling that they had little voice in decisions being made for their neighborhoods. Out of this recommendation came a grassroots organization, the Southeast Georgetown Community Council. The SEGCC is funded by GHF and convenes meetings between community members and the city’s leaders, including the mayor, city council members, school district leaders, and others. Thanks to the SEGCC, more communication and engagement is happening between marginalized community members and leaders who make decisions for Georgetown. SEGCC recently received official 501(c)3 status.