Boston’s resilience journey

Boston is an important cultural and economic center, rich with US history. Yet while much of the city has prospered, particular neighborhoods, especially minority communities, have been left behind. Factors such as lack of affordable housing, fewer educational opportunities, and less access to preparation for good jobs, threaten to divide the city further along racial and economic lines.

The city has launched new programs to increase access to jobs, including training and related services, in order to help disadvantaged communities move into growing industries and to promote equity throughout the city.

Boston’s response to the Marathon bombing in 2013 demonstrated a well-integrated emergency response system. However, city government recognizes the need for greater integration across city systems.

Boston also needs to develop plans to respond to flooding and the impacts of sea level rise. Several essential civic and transportation hubs, including Logan International Airport, are located in flood-sensitive zones.

Meet the Chief Resilience Officer

Lori Nelson

Chief Resilience Officer

Lori Nelson previously served as the Director of Communications and Constituency Services for the City of Boston’s Housing Authority. She commits time to community work, serving on the Advisory Council for the Barbara Lee Foundation, and chairing the Political Action Committee for the Black Ministerial Alliance since 2013, where she was appointed to the executive leadership team in 2017. She also served in leadership as the first Vice President of the NAACP Boston branch from January 2017 through April 2018, and now continues her advocacy as a member within the branch.

Before joining the City of Boston’s Housing Authority, Lori was Deputy Chief of Staff for the MBTA. Previously she worked for Governor Deval Patrick as Deputy Director of Community Affairs and Special Projects. In this role, Lori served as a liaison on community-related affairs, particularly concerning youth, ethnic groups and coalitions across the Commonwealth, and faith-based initiatives. She also worked with Public Safety and Health and Human Services on youth violence reduction. Lori specializes in coalition and partnership building, as well as political strategy in urban areas.

Lori studied English Literature and African American Studies at Northeastern University.

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