News & Events
As a distinguished speaker for the Center for Legislative Studies, Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti spoke on campus about the initiatives her office is undertaking to revitalize the city's downtown and other areas.
(See below story for full video)
Renewal projects include new construction on the Enterprise block, the revival of Main Street, various infrastructural developments, building renovations and smart-growth planning in downtown and the Campello section of the city.
Despite challenges facing Brockton, such as high foreclosure rates and infrastructural issues, Ms. Balzotti said the projects should help revitalize her home city. "Hopefully every small step will turn into one big snowball effect and in a couple years from now we'll have a large success story, not only in downtown Brockton, but the whole city itself," she said.
The renovated Enterprise block will have extended commercial and retail space, a 325-unit parking garage and 218 residential units, 40 of which will be live/workspace for artists, which Ms. Balzotti said she pushed for. "Downtown used to be full of theaters and a lot of other amenities that just don't exist there anymore," she said. "I thought it was important to get a cultural aspect back into the downtown."
Ms. Balzotti, a Brockton High School graduate, praised Brockton's school district and its free youth programming, which last year had approximately 1,000 participants, ages 13-20.
One of the programs, Late Night Basketball, which has been running for two years, aims to keep youth off the streets from 10 p.m. to midnight. "We found that there are a lot of young men who had a little bit too much free time on their hands later in the evening, so now we put them on a basketball court," said Ms. Balzotti. "It keeps them out of trouble, keeps trouble off the street."
She noted that Brockton has been named four times as one of the nation's 100 best communities for young people by America's Promise Alliance, a partnership of more than 400 national organizations aimed at improving the lives of children.
The mayor also delivered a brief history of Brockton, settled in the 17th century and known as "The Shoe City" thanks to its thriving shoe-making trade, and how the changing times have influenced the city's future. (Rob Matheson, '07, University Advancement; photo by Doris Galli)
VIDEO: Mayor Balzotti's full talk.