Daily Buzz | Burlington Fills Venue at First-Ever Civic Expo
And, Burlington-based nonprofit to receive grant funding for a new community health initiative
Good Morning, Burlington!
Burlington-based Saheli has been awarded a grant to create a new cultural competency program geared toward increasing frontline hospital workers’ awareness of domestic and family violence in South Asian and Arab communities. The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation just announced almost $1.8 in grant funding for community health initiatives, and Saheli was selected for a one-time Special Initiatives grant designed to allow an agency to pilot or launch a new program intended to advance health equity.
Saheli is one of six organizations that will be splitting $300,000 total in funding. Saheli is active in the Burlington community and holds various activities throughout the year geared toward domestic violence awareness and prevention.
Burlington Fills Venue at First-Ever Civic Expo
I have been staring at my computer screen for an hour, unable to come up with words to write to you this morning. What an amazing thing we all did last night! Forty-nine town departments, elected boards & commissions, appointed boards, subcommittees, and nonprofits came out, each representing their little corner of responsibility and impact in the town. And the room was packed full of residents who came to learn more about their town and how it works.
This event has been in the works for several months, and we’d hoped to put it on with the help of a grant (and an event planner!). But when the grant fell through, it seemed inevitable that we’d have to put plans on hold. Then, in late November, Town Clerk Amy Warfield mentioned the event I’d mentioned to her in passing several weeks before and we decided to work on it together, with the help of Select Board members Nick Priest and Jim Tigges, who had floated an idea for such an event back in 2019 before our world and the way we interact with each other changed so dramatically.
Since I founded the Buzz nearly two years ago, my mission has been to answer the question for you: Why should I care? And I think the Expo did more than anything else we’ve done to answer that question. The second part of the Buzz’s mission is to cultivate curiosity and connection. It is so easy to shut people out because they disagree with us; it’s much harder to try and understand a person’s viewpoint and try and find some common ground. Meeting people in person, having the opportunity to learn about them as humans and allow them to get to know us—this is how understanding is forged. This is how division is healed.
Thanks to all of you who hosted your table with such enthusiasm and creativity. (An OWL!? Amazing.) One reader contacted me afterward to say, “…seeing how happy most everyone was to engage with us was wonderful! Truly felt like they wanted to meet us and share their stories.” Thanks to Amy Warfield, Jim Tigges, and Nick Priest for helping plan and for interfacing with town departments, and to Marge Yetman and the Council on Aging for all the help with the venue.
Thanks to the donors and volunteers who made this event so full-service. Wegmans, MOMs, LaCascia’s, Bagel Bar, Girl Scout Troop 70240, Rosa Mexicano, and Buzz friends Barbara, Sandy, Jenn, and Alexis for handling things and giving me a live feed even though I wasn’t able to be there in person—and to all of you who picked up or dropped off things, sent photos or videos, or checked in on me.
And, finally but most importantly, thanks to all of you who attended the Expo. I hope you learned at least one new thing and committed to do one thing to increase your awareness or involvement in town.
I can’t wait for next year. Step 1: We’re gonna need a bigger venue.
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Today in Burlington
A blessedly light Thursday after a very long Wednesday!
Municipal Meetings and Community Events
12:30-3:00 PM - Bridge Club (Human Resources Building, 2nd floor)
4:30 PM - Town Meeting Information Meeting about zoning-articles for next Monday’s Town Meeting - If you would like a remote link to attend the meeting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in advance. (Town Hall Annex Basement Meeting Room)
Sports and Activities
Our girls’ hockey team brought their record to 8-1 with yesterday’s 2-0 shutout against Malden Catholic. Boys’ basketball had a good day as well, coming out over Woburn with a score of 81-56.
The boys’ swim team takes on Winchester at home (at the Shawsheen Tech pool) this afternoon at 4:30, and girls’ gymnastics will be on the road taking on Wakefield at 5:00.
That’s it for today. Have a great one, Burlington!