Last week we were honored to receive the CT Economic Development Association’s Member of the Year award. One of the reasons we were chosen was in recognition of the growing partnership between CMSC and CEDAS, a relationship that provides many benefits to both our memberships.

With only four people on staff at CMSC we know that although we may be mighty and determined, realistically there is only so much we alone can do. That’s why partnering with other like-minded organizations is so important to us, while also powerfully reflecting our role as a convener.

CMSC and CEDAS's networking event in Westville Village (New Haven) gave members a chance to hear from Mayor Toni Harp and see the restoration of the beautiful Lyric Hall.

CMSC and CEDAS’s networking event in Westville Village (New Haven) gave members a chance to hear from Mayor Toni Harp and see the restoration of the beautiful Lyric Hall. Photo credit: David Sepulveda, New Haven Independent

With our organizational values in creating great downtowns that embrace a diversity of residents, businesses, housing and transportation in mind, we made a deliberate decision to increase our partnerships with others who could assist us in making those values a realty. Over the last two years or so, we’ve worked especially hard to create and strengthen our strategic partnerships, working with the likes of CEDAS and CCAPA to better meets the needs of our members and Connecticut’s municipalities, partnering on workshops and networking events. We’re supporting public and private investment in mixed-use development and public transit through our role on the Corridor Advisory Committee, which assembles the leaders of the towns along the CTfastrak and New Haven-Hartford-Springfield rail line (now branded as the Hartford Line). We’re reaching new audiences and relaying the importance of communities that attract and are accessible to a range of users through our new and growing partnerships with Young Energetic Solutions (YES), the Partnership for Strong Communities and the Commission on Aging.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the organizations we work with to promote the many facets of a robust downtown. It merely reflects our willingness to cooperatively seek the best solutions for our downtowns, to not only bring the right people to the table, but to be active participants ourselves. Knowing we have wonderful collaborators to learn from and share with our members helps us do our job better – and have a great time doing it.

All of us at here at CMSC want to wish all of you the very merriest of holidays and a Happy New Year!  See you in 2015!