Recent Entries to the Policies and Politics Blog
Five years ago, I launched MZ Strategies, LLC with the crazy idea that I could bring my passion and almost twenty years of experience in policy and planning to support partners who shared a desire to make communities more inclusive, economically-vibrant and sustainable. Since then, we have worked with a terrific group of partners, communities, and organizations working to achieve this vision. Policies change, shift and adapt to face the problems and assets unique to every community, but common across the nation.
Infrastructure is key to the national economy and to the economic opportunity that every Amercian faces. Safe water. Affordable energy. Mobility and accessibility. We have artificially made infrastructure investment a zero-sum game by letting the “no tax” voices win. Infrastructure is the ultimate public good. Public investment in all forms of infrastructure costs the individual user less than paying for it through user feeds, or perhaps not even getting the service if it’s too cost prohibitive for the private sector. Yes, it’s time to build, but even more importantly, it’s time to think.
Mariia Zimmerman, Principal of MZ Strategies, serves as Vice-Chair for Metropolitan Planning on the American Planning Association's Regional and Intergovernmental Planning Division. She will be speaking at numerous events between May 5 - 8, 2017 at the National Planning Conference in New York City. Among the topics she will cover, which represent work MZ Strategies is doing with several clients and communities, are emerging best practices in regional planning, changing federal support for innovative planning and community development, regional economic resiliency, and the role of private-sector planners in affecting change.
It’s that time of year again. For Catholics, March is Lent, a time of commitment to sacrifice and good deeds. It’s also when we get the annual Lenten Appeal request to tithe in support of the Church’s ability to serve as God’s emissary on earth and help those most in need. In Washington DC, March is budget season. The time of year when the Administration unveils its spending priorities for the coming year and when Congress demonstrates where it will invest the trillions of dollars provided by American taxpayers. This year, the disconnect between God’s priorities and Republican priorities could not be more clear, unless we focus only on the word sacrifice.
Two new resources spotlight ways planners working at the regional and metropolitan level are leaning in to solve complex social, environmental and economic issues through better use of data, improved partnerships and collaboration, and a mix of innovation, tenacity and leadership. “Emerging Trends in Regional Planning*” released last month by the American Planning Association celebrates the ways that regional planning is evolving across the country with numerous examples of regions large and small tackling water and land resource issues, regional economic development and housing issues, climate change and public health issues through integrated planning strategies. Meanwhile, Transportation For America this week released national survey results detailing how metropolitan planning organizations are developing and using transportation performance measures. Both are useful documents for learning how planners are pushing the envelope, innovating and making great regions.