Partnership for Regional Opportunity
Growing a prosperous, equitable and sustainable region
Launched in January 2011, the Corridors of Opportunity (CoO) initiative brought together leaders from state, regional and local government, philanthropy, non-profit, and business to focus on a common goal: accelerating the build out of the region’s transit system while promoting adjacent development that advances economic vitality and benefits people of all incomes and backgrounds.
CoO was funded by a $5 million HUD Sustainable Communities grant, and $2.7 million in grants and $13 million in loans from the Living Cities Integration Initiative. Funding from those national programs ended in early 2014.
CoO distributed those federal funds to support local projects: from corridor-wide planning and development strategies and new methods of community engagement, to direct financing of development projects and small business loans. Partners shared their expertise, financial resources, and the “powers” of their roles to advance CoO goals. For example, philanthropy convened multiple high-level players; government changed funding criteria and implement policy decisions; and non-profits delivered direct services and played an intermediary role between communities and government.
Co-chaired by Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh and Lee Sheehy of the McKnight Foundation, the CoO Policy Board unanimously agreed to continue its efforts into 2014 in order to focus on opportunities to implement new practices and embed system change within organizations.
From CoO to PRO: Ongoing effort, new name
Chair Haigh and Lee Sheehy are continuing to co-chair this work together with a new name - “Partnership for Regional Opportunity” (PRO) - and region-wide vision to grow a prosperous, equitable and sustainable region. Like CoO, PRO is working to enhance the region’s competitiveness by bringing together many of the same leaders along with several new partners to
Improve the economic prospects of low-income people and low-wealth communities
Promote high quality development near existing assets (e.g. employment centers, transitways, and commercial and industrial corridors)
Advance a 21st century transportation system.
PRO members are committed to
Align resources, programs, and policies for implementation
Create integrated solutions with cross-sector participation
Use partnership meetings to advance accountability for goals and transparency