Episodes 69 and 70: Do It for the Neighborhood, Parts 1 & 2
Listen to a One-to-One Conversation between David Longoria of LISC in Phoenix and Ryan Winkle from RAIL CDC in Mesa, Arizona. The two of them discuss the community work they are doing in Mesa, what it takes to earn trust, and getting positive results.
With the Mpact Transit + Community conference coming to Phoenix this November, this podcast with David Longoria and Ryan Winkle is a great opportunity to get to know one of the cities in the region, Mesa, Arizona, and the particular approach that RAIL CDC takes to supporting small businesses and community residents along the light rail transit corridor.
RAIL CDC, which stands for Retail, Arts, Innovation and Livability Community Development Corporation, is a place-based organization, working to build relationships and trust in five areas or places in Mesa: the downtown, west Mesa, the Southside, along the Tempe-Apache Boulevard corridor and in the Asian district. Winkle describes how RAIL works today – a model that combines technical assistance for primarily women- or people-of-color-owned small businesses and support for the individuals who work at the businesses or live nearby. The goal is to build not only capacity but also wealth.
Longoria and Winkle also look back to the coming of light rail to Mesa, where extensions opened in 2015 and 2019. They talk about the collaborative, multi-pronged efforts to get ahead of the project and keep businesses stable during construction.
This is part 1 of a two-part conversation. This episode ends with the sense of promise when the light rail opened with no net loss of businesses.
On part 2 (Episode 70), now available, listen for outcomes that were unforeseen and how RAIL CDC’s work has evolved as a result.
Resources and Links
Ryan Winkle, Executive Director, RAIL CDC, Mesa, AZ
David Longoria, Program Manager, LISC Phoenix