MORE TO EXPLORE: Cities

STRATEGIES FOR GROWING LOCAL BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP

Client
GREENWICH VILLAGE CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Faculty
Tricia Davies
Team
Sabrina Kesler, Paul Longo, Jack Osea, Emily Rosenbach

Founded in 1949, the Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce (GVCCC) serves businesses in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Union Square, Flatiron, and the East Village by providing programs and services in four key areas: advocacy, education, networking, and member promotion. GVCCC enlisted a team to develop a strategy for recruiting new members, with special interest in brick-and-mortar businesses with 10 to 50 employees. By growing its membership, the Chamber hopes to generate additional revenue, build a robust network for its members, and establish a more powerful voice for its advocacy work. The team completed an environmental scan of comparable chambers of commerce in New York and across the country; conducted a literature review of best recruitment practices for membership organizations; administered a survey of members and non-members; and conducted interviews with several highly involved members (“ambassadors”) who hold leadership roles within GVCCC. Using this data, the team developed a final report that included recommendations for how GVCCC can revamp its new member recruitment strategy.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

DEVELOPING AN INCLUSIVE POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

Client
NEW YORK CITY CIVIC ENGAGEMENT COMMISSION
Faculty
Alexander Shermansong
Team
Lauren Abbatiello, Sara Cohen, Andrew Edelman

The New York City Civic Engagement Commission (NYC CEC) was established by the 2018 Charter Revision Commission to enhance civic participation in order to strengthen civic trust and democracy in NYC. With the help of the Capstone team, NYC CEC sought to create an inclusive, diverse, and culturally sensitive policy framework for civic life in NYC. The team conducted background research on the state of civic engagement in NYC, analyzed past and present government civic engagement policies and initiatives, and collected information on existing civic engagement policy frameworks. The team determined engagement categories for a quantitative civic engagement index and recommended key indicators of civic engagement, strategies for data collection, and best practices for future outreach.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

SHOWCASING THE SUCCESS OF A GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAM

Client
LIFE CAMP
Faculty
Rain Henderson
Team
Robin Allen, Andrew Dahl, Jacqueline Meilak, Silvio Olivares, Anna Vasilyeva

LIFE Camp is a gun violence intervention and prevention organization in Southeast Queens that emphasizes customized wraparound services to prevent violence in at-risk communities and address the specific needs of each community. The organization enlisted a team to help locate gaps in its services and strengthen its public outreach and messaging, with a focus on communicating what makes LIFE Camp effective and distinct. In order to further the organization’s goals of helping other organizations replicate its approach, the team conducted a landscape analysis to understand what differentiates LIFE Camp from similarly-motivated organizations. The team utilized a powerful digital storyboard for promotion and funding, developed a white paper describing LIFE Camp’s services and highlighting its impact, and created a video that provides an inside look at the people who execute LIFE Camps’ vision, showcasing how its staff drive LIFE Camp’s organizational success.

Capstone Year

MEASURING CLIMATE RESILIENCE DISPARITIES AMONG VULNERABLE POPULATIONS IN BELIZE CITY

Client
BELIZE ASSOCIATION OF PLANNERS
Faculty
Natasha Iskander
Team
Joey Baietti, Carrie Eidson, Jah-Milka McClean, David Zhong

The Belize Association of Planners (BAP) is a nonprofit professional planning organization committed to promoting social justice and sustainability in the natural and built environments. BAP enlisted a team to identify intersectional vulnerabilities between climate change and gender in urban Belize, including aspects of social identity that contribute to heightened climate impacts on women and other marginalized groups. The team created public-facing materials—including policy briefs, short-term pandemic recovery guidance, and an interactive story map highlighting the team’s major research findings—to promote awareness of climate change and the importance of equitable urban planning. The team also created a framework for participatory action research projects for BAP to use to directly engage affected communities.

Capstone Year

ABOLISHING ABUSIVE FINE AND FEE COLLECTION PRACTICES IN NEW YORK STATE

Client
FINES AND FEES JUSTICE CENTER
Faculty
Erin Connell
Team
Benjamin Heller, Daniel Patterson, Alec Slatky, Chao Zhang

The Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC) advocates nationally for a fairer criminal justice system through the end of abusive fine and fee collection practices. FFJC engaged a team to conduct research and make data-driven recommendations to inform the organization’s campaign for fine and fee abolition in New York State. The team reviewed research connecting fines and fees, municipal budgets, and police incentives; gathered data on the connection between local fines, fees, and municipal budgets; and compiled several case studies to illustrate the ways in which jurisdictions rely on fines and fees to increase municipal budgets, particularly during economic downturns. The team created a scorecard to screen jurisdictions for abusive fine practices and empower FFJC to conduct further investigations. The team’s recommendations include how to best advocate for fine and fee abolition in New York State as part of FFJC’s upcoming campaign.

Capstone Year

RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVOCACY IN INDONESIA

Client
PURPOSE
Faculty
Matthew Camp
Team
Steven Morales, Alexander Smith, Leena Zelman

Purpose has constructed climate advocacy plans in many countries by bringing together key organizations and local groups to advocate for more environmentally friendly policies in the fight against pollution and climate change. The organization is laying the groundwork for an advocacy campaign in Indonesia that pushes key decision makers to shift public and private investments away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy. Purpose enlisted the team to conduct research for its Indonesian campaign policy brief. The team investigated the economic landscape of the Indonesian fossil fuel and renewable energy industries, and completed a stakeholder analysis that examined the international players in the Indonesian energy market and identified potential allies and adversaries. The team’s analysis forms the basis for an advocacy campaign focused on the economic benefits of renewable energy, which, coupled with the organization’s grassroots work, sets the foundation for a complete climate advocacy plan for Indonesia.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

MEASURING THE IMPACT OF SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY INITIATIVES ON SMALL BUSINESSES

Client
JEROME GUN HILL BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
Faculty
Sarah Kaufman
Team
Paul Goebel, Cameron Haas, Christina Jang, Mayelly Moreno, Chase Rudner, Carlo Steinman

The Jerome Gun Hill Business Improvement District (BID) provides a myriad of supplemental support services to merchants in the Norwood section of the Bronx, an area which surrounds Montefiore Medical Center's main campus. In order to support and inform its merchant community as they adapt to a future with fewer cars, the BID enlisted a team to assess how new NYC Department of Transportation bike and bus lane projects might affect small businesses in commercial corridors, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The team analyzed how other projects have impacted commercial corridors, identified domestic and international interventions that were successful in helping small businesses adapt, and conducted a survey of the BID’s merchants and its clients. The team produced a report providing recommendations for demonstrating how shifting away from car usage can produce a sustainable neighborhood and economy.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year

ANALYSIS OF PUBLIC OPINION FOLLOWING A TERRORIST ATTACK IN OHIO

Client
TERRORISM AND PUBLIC OPINION
Faculty
James Dunham
Team
Christina Maida, Tiffany Rose Miller, Aaron Pope

Though Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks make up only a small subset of terrorist events in the United States, they loom large in the public consciousness and receive extensive media attention. The team used a natural experiment to investigate the impact of terrorist violence on public preferences for US military force and intervention abroad. Taking into consideration mediating factors such as partisanship and media consumption, the team analyzed data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, a national and state representative survey, which was being conducted at the time of the 2016 Jihadi-inspired terrorist attack at The Ohio State University. The team’s findings provide insight into the impact of the attack on public opinion in Ohio, and contribute to the broader research on the influence of personal experiences on public preferences.

Areas Of Impact
Capstone Year