Committee Report: Downtown Action Group


An update from Kara Alnasrawi, Committee Chair on the work of the Downtown Action Group:

The recently revitalized Downtown Action Group (DAG) has held three lively and well attended meetings. Our focus for these meetings has been primarily on discussing ways to handle and dissipate troubling negative behavior on Church St. and its side streets. The group identified this behavior as being detrimental to tourism and business in general and aims to work with community members, the police and other service providers to make downtown Burlington a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

The group invited Chief Schirling from the Burlington Police Department, and Matt Young and Tammy Boudah from the Howard Center’s Street Outreach Team to help us understand the work they are doing around this negative behavior, who is perpetrating the behavior and how the business community can work with them to aid in preventing it.

To assist in these goals, DAG’s current action items include:

Working towards short term solutions to help increase the safety and security of the downtown including:

  • Assessing where there are currently security cameras on Church street and the side streets, and where there are gaps in coverage. The group feels that the presence of cameras themselves can help curtail negative behavior in addition to aiding in data collection.
  • Encouraging positive community actions (street clean ups, sweeping side walks etc.) to help communicate that Burlington is a strong community with the expectation that everyone here should play a positive role.

Some longer term initiatives include:

  • Collecting data (info, photos, videos of problematic behavior in the downtown) so that the business community can make a case at the City and State level to effect change that will help ensure a safer, more welcoming downtown environment

If you are interested in joining us for a BBA DAG meeting, please contact our Member Services and Events Manager, Sarah O Donnell at [email protected]