ST. LOUIS ? Mayor Francis Slay has established the Office of Resilience and appointed Patrick R. Brown as Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), a new position created to lead city-wide resilience building efforts to help the City of St. Louis prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the 'shocks' ? catastrophic events like heat waves, tornados, and floods ?and 'stresses' ? slow-moving disasters like aging infrastructure, homelessness, and unemployment, which are increasingly part of 21st century life. As Chief Resilience Officer, Patrick will report directly to the Mayor and oversee the development and implementation of a comprehensive Resilience Strategy for the City.
This is the next step in the City's membership in 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC), a selective program focused on helping cities worldwide become more resilient. The City of St. Louis was selected for the program from more than 700 applicants around the world and kicked off its engagement with 100RC last October with a 'Resilience Agenda-Setting Workshop.' 100RC is providing the City with technical support and resources, including full funding for Patrick's position as a senior executive Chief Resilience Officer (CRO), to develop and implement a City Resilience Plan over the next two years.
The City of St. Louis has identified the following shocks and stresses to address in order to become more resilient and will look to uncover additional insights on other shocks and stresses during the life of 100RC engagement:
- Shock 1: Riot/Civil Unrest
- Shock 2: Heat Wave
- Shock 3: Tornado
- Shock 4: Flooding
- Stress 1: Endemic Violence
- Stress 2: Educational Disparities
- Stress 3: Declining Population
- Stress 4: Aging Infrastructure
'These are all issues that Patrick is already very familiar, which will give him a tremendous start to building the City's resiliency,' Mayor Slay said. 'Patrick is a natural problem solver, quick to bring people together to tackle difficult topics. I think St. Louisans really respond to Patrick's unique brand of pragmatic optimism, and I suspect that's why he's been so successful at engaging people -- young and not so young.'
'I've been impressed with Patrick's commitment to working with grassroots activists and knowledge of municipal governance,' offered Rev. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation. 'With transition in City Hall imminent, it will be valuable to have a leader committed to the community's stated priorities in-house.'
In his capacity as CRO, Patrick also will contribute to coordination of recommendations provided by Forward Through Ferguson, Ready by 21 St. Louis, and For the Sake of All to improve the quality of life for St. Louis residents.
'I love our City, so I am both honored and humbled by the gravity of this appointment. While 'resiliency' is a relatively new term in city government, the work I've cared about most deeply during my time serving Mayor Slay has certainly been in the spirit of building resilience. I look forward to the inclusive community-driven work ahead, with the guidance and support of Rockefeller, and I'm encouraged by this opportunity to build new partnerships necessary for lasting change in St. Louis.'
The CRO is an innovative feature of 100RC's resilience building program, specifically designed to break down existing barriers at the local level, account for pre-existing resilience plans, and create partnerships, alliances and financing mechanisms that will address the resilience vulnerabilities of all City residents, with a particular focus on low-income and vulnerable populations.
'Patrick joins a network of peers from cities across the globe that will share best practices and surface innovative thinking,' said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. 'Patrick will become a global leader in resilience and will help galvanize partnerships and support from 100RC's partners to benefit the City of St. Louis, while importing and exporting solutions and lessons learned to 100RC global network.'
The City's resilience initiative includes a unique focus on social and economic resilience in a city affected by historic divisions of race and class, along with resiliency planning to withstand shocks, such as civil unrest and weather disasters. Disparities in health, education, social and economic outcomes threaten community cohesion and weaken the overall resilience of the City of St. Louis. Patrick will therefore be charged with fostering a citywide dialogue on the root causes of these divisions, helping the City to unite and build the collective capacity for change.
Patrick will receive personnel and technical support provided by 100RC; and utilize resilience building tools from private, public, academic, and NGO sector organizations that have partnered with 100RC. The City's Resilience Strategy will be a holistic, action-oriented blueprint to build partnerships and alliances, financing mechanisms, and will pay particular attention to meeting the needs of poor and vulnerable populations.
Executive Order NO. 56, issued by Mayor Slay, formally establishes the Office of Resilience and appoints Patrick Brown as Chief Resilience Officer, effective July 26, 2016.
About City of St. Louis CRO Patrick Brown
A graduate of Saint Louis University, Patrick Brown joined Mayor Slay's staff at 23 after working for a number of Missouri state and local election campaigns. Patrick, now 31, has proven himself a capable, knowledgeable and relentless advocate for the City of St. Louis; most recently, serving as the Mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff and legislative director. He also serves as co-chair for Mayor Slay's Vacancy & Abandonment Task Force, and as a commissioner for the City's Planning Commission
About 100 Resilient Cities?Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation
100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools;and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. 100RC is part of a $164 million commitment by The Rockefeller Foundation to build urban resilience in 100 cities around the world. 100RC currently has 67 member cities. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.
(Via City of St. Louis - News.)