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Report to SCOPA on USF Collab Work Group Meeting

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  • Alvin W. Wolfe
    Report to SCOPA on the May 27th meeting of the Neighborhood and Communities Workgroup of the USF Collaborative for Children, Families and Communities. --Alvin
    Message 1 of 1 , May 30, 2004
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      Report to SCOPA on the May 27th meeting of the Neighborhood and
      Communities Workgroup of the USF Collaborative for Children, Families
      and Communities.

      --Alvin Wolfe

      The Workgroup met as planned, although there were some logistical
      problems, and we had to meet in the Dean's Conference Room instead of
      the Westside Conference Center Room A where it had been originally
      scheduled. This caused some problems for those who could not find

      I hope none of the SCOPA anthropologists were among those who were
      completely lost. We had good representation: Glenn Brown, Susan
      Greenbaum, Dawn Hayes, Michele Ogilvie, Beverly Ward, and Alvin

      After quite a lengthy discussion of Research Day and its implications
      for East Tampa (where we had promised follow-up in the form of encore
      presentations in East Tampa on relevant projects similar to those
      given on Research Day), there was also a fairly lengthy discussion of
      how best to promote "service learning" activities in East Tampa and
      elsewhere, and how to maximize their effectiveness both for USF and
      the Community. Much of that discussion would be of interest to SCOPA
      members, but I won't go into detail here.

      It turned out that the presentation by the staff of the Planning
      Commission (Hillsborough County City-County Planning Commission) was
      very much about the same sort of thing that we had wanted to
      encourage the Workgroup and the Collaborative on. They, represented
      by Terry Cullen and were hopeful that the Collaborative might serve
      as something like a "Think Tank" (although nobody likes that term) to
      help with developing Hillsborough County's 2025 Plan.
      Our issue was on the agenda as: "Alvin Wolfe suggestion: Impact of
      large redevelopment projects on urban residents and the
      neighborhood." We simply used discussion of the Planning Commission
      presentation to further our own agenda – to support a more consistent
      and regular program of needs assessments and impact assessments of
      neighborhoods, communities, cities and counties.

      Susan Greenbaum made very clear her position that somebody should be
      doing social impact assessment whenever there is a plan to move a
      significant number of residents.

      I argued that applied anthropologists have been doing that kind of
      thing in this area for a number of years, pointing out that the
      masters and doctoral dissertation projects of USF's applied
      anthropology programs were proof of that. I expressed my view that
      we were doing better at this in the 1970s than we are now. I also
      called to their attention that as early as 1971 the City of
      Clearwater had passed a strong ordinance requiring impact assessments
      of any development project in Clearwater. The City Manager who
      implemented that ordinance was Picot Floyd, who later served as
      Hillsborough County's Administrator, then still later joined USF in
      both Public Administration and Urban Design and Research, and finally
      earned his doctorate in applied anthropology. During those periods,
      Hillsborough County seemed more receptive to impact assessment than
      it does now.

      All the anthropologists joined in this discussion, and I am sure our
      voices were heard. There was some concern expressed, however, that
      what we were proposing sounded more like "advocacy" than "research."
      Obviously, that concern will have to be addressed, and I think we can
      demonstrate that advocacy and research are not totally incompatible.

      The Chair of the Workgroup, Harold Keller, Professor of Education,
      suggested that a small committee consisting of himself, Judy Jetson,
      Executive Director of the Collaborative, and Alvin Wolfe might draft
      a proposal to respond to the Planning Commission and these other
      issues that were being discussed.

      Obviously, we have gotten something off the ground. And I believe we
      should continue to discuss it through this medium of our SCOPA
      YahooGroup, so that we can enlighten each other and develop some
      consensus about what should be done.
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