The Town of Southbury is pursuing the distinction of being a Sustainable CT town. One of key actions required for certification is building an inclusive and equitable community.
The objective here is to build and strengthen municipal processes to be more inclusive, cohesive, and representative of all community members, now and in the future. These system-wide, structural changes are an important step in creating open and equitable communities.
Why does Equity matter? Sustainable CT recognizes the many values of diversity to strengthen civic engagement, the local economy, arts and culture, community resilience, and more. This is rooted in the belief that our communities can thrive and truly be sustainable only when social equity is achieved; that a person’s economic status, gender, skin color, education, location, etc. does not dictate their life’s outcome.
The goal is to build a community that embraces equity. This is achieved by creating a framework where diverse relationships are welcomed and valued, where decisions are made collectively, and where success is measured by the variety of perspectives and experiences represented. Not easily achieved but, fortunately, there is help.
Resources are provided by the state program to assist with this objective, including an equity toolkit, one-on-one coaching and trainings. With the help of these tools, the team of municipal staff and volunteers working on the certification will walk the community through an inclusive process of engagement and co-creation.
Sustainable CT encourages regional collaboration and other forms of partnership. So far, Southbury has developed partnerships with the Town of Woodbury, Pomperaug River Watershed Authority (PRWA), Heritage Village Masters Association, and has solicited the support of the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) and Connecticut Council of Municipalities (CCM).
If your organization would like to be a partner in the effort to make Southbury more sustainable, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
To learn more about the town’s efforts to pursue certification visit: www.southbury-ct.org/sustainableCT.
For information on the state program Sustainable CT visit www.sustainablect.org.
Economic Development Director
Town of Southbury
[This article first appeared in Southbury Neighbors magazine.]