Thank you to those who attended our recent forum entitled Who is the ‘M’ in NIMBY? on November 7th.
This forum highlighted the research of Katherine Levine Einstein, Maxwell Palmer, and David Glick of Boston University. Presented by Katherine Levine Einstein, their report “Who Participates in Local Government? Evidence from Meeting Minutes" demonstrated that voices in opposition to new housing development are overwhelming public meetings, hearings on zoning, and land use decisions. The report also found that individuals who are older, male, long-time residents, voters in local elections, and homeowners are significantly more likely to participate in these meetings, leaving those with barriers to participation out of the decision-making process.
A moderated panel discussion then explored the implications of these participatory inequalities, the impacts on housing development and costs, and ways to forge greater inclusivity around local housing decisions. We are so grateful to our Moderator, Ceasar McDowell from MIT, and our panelists, Andrew DeFranza from Harborlight Community Partners, Wendell Joseph from the City of Cambridge, and Darcy Jameson from Beacon Communities Development LLC, for joining us to share their unique experiences, concerns, and strategies for fostering broader engagement and representation in their work.
This forum was presented as part of CHAPA’s Municipal Engagement Initiative. To learn more about this work, please visit our Municipal Engagement Initiative Page.