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An update on Albany’s Equity Agenda Advisory Group’s work on city resource map

The Mayors Equity Agenda hosted a virtual Q&A session for interested parties.
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The Mayors Equity Agenda hosted a virtual Q&A session for interested parties.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan's Equity Agenda committee is looking for residents to add community resources to its online map.

Albany’s Resource Map provides residents with a centralized location for programming opportunities available through the city and partner organizations. Although the map is updated regularly, the Equity Advisory Agenda Advisory Group is urging all service organizations and community partnerships to upload information. The group held an online forum Wednesday to stress the importance of the map as a tool to find everything ranging from food to affordable housing.

Eva Bass is Community Outreach Coordinator in the Mayor’s Office of Equity & Community Engagement: “We have an overconcentration of resources in the city of Albany, if not the whole Capital Region. So we first want to be able to not only get our community resources on a community resource map. However, also, we want to be able to connect with our community partners, we want to be able to invite them to conversations, be a part of their conversations, I really do address equity and social justice issues, you know, on the same, you know, paths so that we can be most impactful to our community.”

The Equity Agenda panel acts as an advisory group to improve equity for marginalized groups. In 2018, then-Common Councilor Dorcey Applyrs and Council President Corey Ellis led Albany’ equity agenda effort.

Ellis said "The agenda came out of a meeting that me and Councilwoman Applyrs and a couple of other council members had with the mayor after the rash of violence that was happening this summer. And we looked at the systemic issues of poverty in the city, systemic issues of racial discrimination in those communities. And as legislators it is our job to figure out how we can legislate meaningful changes to the system that won't allow those neighborhoods to continue to fall behind."

Bass says the advisory group is looking to expand the resource map website, and they’re open to exploring different options. “And that looks differently to different organizations, and it looks different to different community members. So some people may, you know, want to utilize this solely for recreation purposes to figure out, when is the skating rink, open, what's going on over there? What community center is open or, you know, workforce development, seeing what programs are available, and there's some people who need to get access to food. So we work with the food pantry, to be able to identify where those are located. So they can just pull up the map, find the address and the phone number so that they can be able to connect.”

Bass says the map is "not an end-all be-all solution, but is a step in the right direction," adding that some fine-tuning to the website was done during the pandemic.

“We have a Google kind of form where you can input your information, or you can input it into an Excel worksheet, and then email it to myself, or to our email address resource map at Albany ny.gov, and we'll be able to upload that within, you know, seven business days,” said Bass.

If you or your organization have resources available to City residents, you may fill out this online form at bit.ly/2ZMMGCl or submit information regarding your resources via email to resourcemap@albanyny.gov.

The Resource Map can be found on the city’s website at: https://data.albanyny.gov/dataset/City-of-Albany-2021-Resource-Map/i7hy-ch23

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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