March 1st Public Transportation Vote

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It’s time to invest in public transportation.

Thank you to everyone who made the Committee to Connect Campaign Launch last Wednesday at UALR a success. The event was a reminder of the strong support that public transportation has in Pulaski County. Never has there been a greater need for investment in the Rock Region METRO public transit system for central Arkansas. This investment is part of the big picture on making Pulaski County a great 21st century metro area.

We need your continued support to make sure we turn out the vote March 1. Help us advocate for a quarter-cent sales tax for an investment in people, opportunities, and communities in Pulaski County.

How you can help:

1. Like our Facebook
2. Sign-up on our website to phone bank or canvass
3. Make a donation to help our campaign


Copyright © 2016 The Committee to Connect, All rights reserved.
Based on your interest in public transportation we thought you might like to attend this event.

Our mailing address is:

The Committee to Connect

P.O. Box 2516

Little Rock, AR 72203


Job Corp Building Changes

Find out what’s happening in your neighborhood and with the Job Corp Building at the first Pettaway Neighborhood Association Meeting of 2016!

We meet the last Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. at East Little Rock Resource Center at 500 E. 21st.  Come and join us at 6 p.m. on January 28th.

New 311 App

> Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016
> Contact: Jennifer Godwin | (o) 501 371 4421 | (c) 501 804 4822
> City Announces New 311 Mobile App
> LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Jan. 27, 2016) – The City of Little Rock is making it easier for citizens to connect to non-emergency services with the new Little Rock 311 mobile app.
> Available now in the Apple App and Google Play stores, the app allows citizens to select from a list of service requests, take a photo, pinpoint a location, and submit the request, all from their mobile devices. The request categories currently available on the app include missed yard waste, ditch maintenance, pothole repair, and graffiti on streets, signs, or sidewalks.
> “It has long been a goal for us to provide this next level of service to our residents,” City Manager Bruce T. Moore said. “A mobile app puts non-emergency City services at their fingertips, and on our end, it creates a seamless system for all of the 311 requests we get.”
>The City logged nearly 95,000 service requests in the 311 system in 2015, the majority of those through residents calling 311. One of the goals of the 311 app is to reduce the number of requests submitted via a phone call.
> The app’s release follows the significant upgrade of the City’s online 3-1-1 system in November 2015. The app is integrated with the web portal as well as the phone intake system in a citizen request service (CSR) system that will help the City be more accessible and efficient.
> Any person using the mobile app to submit a request will able to track the status of that particular request. A request is automatically routed to the appropriate department, and a once a request has been fulfilled, a citizen will be able to get a notification that the request has been closed. Signing up as a reporter allows a person to quickly track requests.
> The app is available in the Google Play<> and Apple App<> stores by searching for Little Rock 311. Learn more about Little Rock’s 311 system at<>.


MTCC and the Chamber Music Society present Michelle Cann


Michelle Cann in Concert
7:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 28
$30 (free for students)

MTCC, in partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, is proud to present pianist Michelle Cann in concert.

Cann began studying and playing piano at the age of seven. Since then she has played in various state, national and international competitions. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 14 and has been invited to perform with orchestras around the country.

Tickets are available now at


Lunc Series Logo.png

It’s in the Bag: Lunch ‘n Learn Series
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 2

Join us for a conversation about African Americans in the arts featuring guest panelists: poet Chris James, founder and executive director, House of Art; filmmaker Brian Lee; and Theresa Timmons-Shamberger, executive director, Timmons Arts Foundation.

Bring your lunch and we’ll provide the drinks!


Volunteer with Tree Streets

Tree Streets Members & Vols:

Tree Streets’ 2015/16 tree planting project is taking place in the historic Central High neighborhood and in partnership with Central High Neighborhood, Inc.

This Saturday, our trees will be planted in the city right of way (between the street curb and the sidewalk) along 18th Street between Schiller and Jones Streets.  Tree Streets will provide all of the necessary tools.  Children, grand-children, and pets are all welcome to join in the work.

We will meet this Saturday morning at Community Bakery (I-630 & Main St.) at 9:00 a.m. and we should be finished by 11 a.m.   If it is raining steadily at 8:00 a.m., the day’s volunteer work will be cancelled.

Future volunteer work days are February 6 & 20 and March 5 & 19.  Please consider volunteering with us as we get our hands dirty for a better and leafier Little Rock.  Thank you for your support.

If you wish to be removed from this email list, please respond to me with “Please remove.”

John K. Baker, President

Tree Streets, Inc.

P.O. Box 3254

Little Rock, AR  72203




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Downtown Little Rock Update

Downtown Notes
The Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board unanimously approved this week a $17.5 million consortium-back financing package and also agreed to approve the purchase price for three real estate deals that are expected to close by February 1. Brent Birch, executive director, said, “We are making good progress.” Learn more (Talk Business).
eStem Public Charter School CEO John Bacon submitted several proposals to Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key ahead of the scheduled February meeting of the Charter Authorizing Panel.
     “These changes are necessary to help provide the more than 6,000 students currently on our waiting list an opportunity to participate in the eStem educational program,” said Bacon.
     eStem has asked to allow an increase in enrollment – from 1,462 students to 3,844 students.   The changes would also rearrange the elementary, middle, and high schools to serve students in grades K-6, 7-9, and 10-12 respectively.  eStem and UALR have already entered into an initial agreement to allow eStem to create a high school campus on the UALR campus beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.  This will also allow eStem High School students to enroll in concurrent courses at the university. The proposal also creates new elementary and junior high campuses located in downtown’s Hanger Hill neighborhood.
     “These changes are necessary to help provide the more than 6,000 students currently on our waiting list an opportunity to participate in the eStem educational program,” said Bacon.
     The downtown school utilizes a random, anonymous lottery system to select its student population without bias.
The crane over the Robinson Center will come down this week. Traffic on Broadway between Third Street and the Broadway Bridge will be affected. On Saturday two-way traffic will be suspended for short time periods. The crane has been used in the Robinson’s renovation for the past 15 months. The Robinson Center is scheduled to re-open November 2016.
Have you uploaded the Arkansas Civil Rights History Mobile App? It’s a great weekend to check out the tour and learn more about the neighborhood!
River Market District
January 21: Urania Descending,
U.S. premiere of film by Arkansas’s Tav Falco, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Avenue. Arkansas Sounds in partnership with the Arkansas Times. 7 p.m. Free and open to the public. Learn more.
January 26: Dirty Dancing, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Avenue, 7 p.m. $5. Learn more.
January 28: CALS Sanders Distinguished Lecture Features Eli N. Evans, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market, 6:30 p.m. Evans will discuss his life growing up Jewish in the South. In conjunction with Temple B’nai Israel’s sesquicentennial anniversary. Free. Learn more.
January 29: Ghost Bones and
Mad Nomad in concert, 7 p.m., CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market Avenue. $10. Learn more.
January 30: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, CALS Ron Robinson Theater, 100 River Market, 2 p.m., $5. Learn more.
January 30: Singin’ in the Rain,

CALS Ron Robinson Theater,
100 River Market, 7 p.m., $5. Learn more.
January 30: Whitetail Headgear, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, 602 President Clinton Avenue, 2 p.m. Gain insight into the amazing headgear of the deer and where to search for sheds. Free. 907-0636.
January 31: Wings Over Arkansas, Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center, 602 President Clinton Avenue, 2 p.m. Tips on bird identification, an easy birding hike and how to participate in Wings Over Arkansas. Free. 907-0636
Arkansas Arts Center. January 28: Pay What You Can Night. James Thurber’s imaginative quest by brave Prince Zorn to rescue Princess Saralinda. Learn more.



Little Rock Youth Master Plan


​As you know, the City of Little Rock’s Department of Community Programs (DCP) has been diligently working to create a Youth Master Plan which will directly improve and enhance the overall quality of life for the children, youth, and families of Little Rock, Arkansas.


As part of that intensive process, the Youth Master Plan Advisory Committee is working to build a set of recommendations to be considered and potentially approved by the Little Rock Board of Directors. The list of priority needs is currently being developed through conversations with the general public and various members of the community who have an interest in improving the quality of life of Little Rock’s children, youth, and families. It is our hope that these priority needs will then be addressed through various City-funded programs and/or City partnerships developed specifically to meet them.


We will be hosting the last of the Community Forums during the month of January 2016. These meetings will be targeted toward the following “special interest groups,” however, anyone can attend any of the meetings as they are all open to the general public:


  • Law Enforcement/City/County/State Organizations/Re-Entry
  • Parents/Grandparents/Guardians
  • Children & Youth
  • Faith-based/Non-Profit Organizations and Neighborhood Associations
  • Latino Community
  • Re-Entry Community
  • Business Community
  • Education Community
  • Political Community


Upcoming Youth Master Plan Community Forums

January 2016

 Parents & Youth / Non-Profit Agencies, Neighborhood Associations,

& Faith-based Organizations

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2016

Time: 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Location: Southwest Community Center

6401 Baseline Road, Little Rock AR 72209


Hispanic/Latino Community Members

Date: Saturday, January 30, 2016

Time: 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Location: Centro Cristiano Hispano Church

8114 West 36th Street, Little Rock AR 72204


Please note that although these meetings may be targeting a “special group” does not mean that you are not invited to each of them. If you have any further questions please let me know.







Vontia Mitchell

Master of Public Administration, Arkansas State University

Department of Community Programs

City of Little Rock

500 W. Markham Street, Suite 220W

Little Rock, Arkansas



CGLRN Response to I-30 Widening

Coalition of Greater Little Rock Neighborhoods

An Advocate of Quality City Neighborhoods


President Kathy Wells * Box 777, Little Rock, AR 72203 * 501-960-6918


January 16, 2016

Mayor Mark Stodola

Little Rock Board of Directors

500 W. Markham St.

Little Rock, AR 72201


Dear Mayor Stodola and City Directors,


The Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods appreciates the debate among you on the best method of solving congestion problems on the I-30 segment beside downtown Little Rock. We support the resolution before you calling upon state highway officials to consider alternatives to the current 10-lane proposal.  The current proposals would harm our historic neighborhoods now, and pushing congestion onto I-630 would surely bring harm to adjacent neighborhoods as that relief was built, later.


Members share concerns about paying for this proposal – and especially about the outcome resulting in further required projects to relieve congestion pushed onto three other choke points. We cannot afford this $4 billion. Moreover, research so far indicates alternatives may be found that will not lead to this. Please, do put your support behind looking harder at such alternatives.


We checked into some of the questions from your debate, and bring you this information:

The funding discussion of the Imagine transportation element is contained in Chapter 7 of the plan beginning on page 172.  Six billion dollars of local, state and federal revenues were identified for the region from 2014 to 2040.  That creates a funding deficit of $13.1 billion.  New revenue sources are identified as well as an analysis of their projected yields.  To try to close that deficit, elected officials at the federal, state and/or local levels will need to choose which taxes they want to increase, and, at least with local taxes, sell that revenue increase to their voters. You control the projects and funding, and Mayor Stodola sits on the Metroplan Board, where he conveys what Little Rock wants.


With the six billion in identified revenue, only projects being funded by Metroplan’s direct allocation or that have been committed to by the State Highway Commission are specifically listed in the plan.  Project priorities in several categories were identified in the document beginning on page 191.  Priorities for projects can, and often do, shift over time, and the plan is adjusted accordingly.


The Big Rock interchange was not in the METRO 2030.2 Plan but was added by the Board when AHTD claimed it could get 100% earmarked money for the original $75 million cost estimate.  After the project began, the earmarks disappeared and other funding had to be substituted.  That funding had been reserved in the plan for the construction of the North Belt Freeway.  The Metroplan Board agreed with the Highway Department that completing the Big Rock interchange (now at $125+ million) and the subsequent widening of I-630 east to University Avenue was a higher priority than the North Belt Freeway.


In preparation of Imagine Central Arkansas, the previous commitment of the Highway Commission to build the North Belt was withdrawn and the Metroplan Board dropped it from the plan.



Page 2 – I-30 alternatives resolution



Federal funding levels vary from year to year depending on the level of state investment in the area and when projects go to bid.  On average between $225 and $335 million dollars in federal funds flow through the CARTS TIP in a given year.  The CAP project funding will up that significantly over the next decade; the region also is to get a small bump up from the new federal transportation bill.


The Metroplan Board has the authority to approve shifting funds among projects and to select which projects can move to construction without further approvals. It does not, however, have the authority to make a project sponsor (either AHTD, Rock Region Metro or a local government) move a project forward if it does not want to.  The process is designed by law to be cooperative.


Dir. Kumpuris, how Imagine Central Arkansas will get funded is in the Plan. What project gains and what project loses funding in future will rest with the Metroplan Board, at the end of their cooperative discussion. It will be a question of either funding the regional arterials or the 10-lane proposal for I-30.


The 10-lane proposal would take our community to hardship in the future, by the Metroplan analysis. And one unacceptable highway funding source already has been proposed – taking General Revenues for highways. Our community should not support proposals that add weight to that policy idea – our own citizens would suffer in the event state funding was cut for education, higher education, human services, corrections, etc.


Vice Mayor Hines, you praised the Big Rock interchange in the debate, and you credited Jim McKenzie, Metroplan director, with complete influence over Metroplan project approvals, to which you objected. Yet, you did not thank him for assuring the interchange was built, and for arranging alternate funding, when the original plan failed.


That resolution to solving the shortfall in funding is one reason why the Coalition admires McKenzie’s service to our community, and respects the policies he proposes. We urge you to heed his cautions about starting interstate projects that lead to others that demand more money that we can raise, and that would halt the rest of the region’s street work for many years.


The old saying applies today: Let’s not rob Peter to pay Paul.


Yours Truly,

Kathy Wells


Mass Transit Campaign Launch

Mass Transit


You’re Invited to Join the Committee to Connect

This Thursday at 11 a.m. support public transit in Pulaski County 

What: Official Campaign Launch of the Campaign to Connect

When: Thursday, January 21st at 11 a.m.

Where: UALR University District Building 5820 Asher Ave, on the east side of Big Lots parking lot

* * Rain or Shine – Indoor space available! * *


Connectivity is good FOR opportunities, people and communities. On March 1st vote FOR a quarter-cent sales tax to benefit our public transit system.

FOR Opportunities
High-tech transportation solutions will attract jobs and job seekers in today’s economy, and keep young professionals in the region.
Expanded service will allow for new growth opportunities and attract new employers, while supporting existing businesses in the region.
FOR People
Increased transit routes will serve our students and faculty at Pulaski Tech, UALR and UAMS and allow for expanded educational opportunities.
Investment in public transit will support our aging community and give our seniors and retirees the needed mobility to prosper.
FOR Communities
Improved mass transit will connect all communities in the region and allow us to build strong relationships among our citizens by making healthcare, retail, shopping and employment opportunities accessible.
Creating new transit services will increase economic opportunity in an environmentally conscious manner making our communities happier and healthier.
Copyright © 2016 The Committee to Connect, All rights reserved.
Based on your interest in public transportation we thought you might like to attend this event.

Our mailing address is:

The Committee to Connect
P.O. Box 2516
Little Rock, AR 72203

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Register today for MLK Challenge 2016!



2016 MLK Challenge
Monday, January 18, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Registration Required. Free. Ages 12-18.

MTCC’s annual day of service, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., offers youth the opportunity to make a difference in their communities through volunteerism. Sites include: Millennium Adult Day Care, the Young Adult Opportunity Center, Oakland Fraternal Cemetery, Helping Hand of Greater Little Rock, Dunbar Community Gardens and the Little Rock Compassion Center.

** We encourage parents and friends to join us as team leaders! **

For more information contact Quantia Fletcher at 501-683-3615 or; or Amanda Holland at





Jazz: Evolution of an American Art Form and Its Place on West 9th Street

Thursday, January 14, 6 p.m.
(doors open at 5 p.m.)

Panel discussion is Free and Open to the public.
After show is $10 ($5 for students).

MTCC is proud to present a symposium and concert in partnership with Oxford American and the Clinton School of Public Service Speakers Series entitled “Jazz: Evolution of an American Art Form and Its Place on West 9th Street.” This outreach event is part of the Oxford American’s 2015-16 Jazz Series. Panelists include: Amina Claudine Myers, John Cain and Nathan Hood. Moderated by Chris Parker. Seating is limited and is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.
Following the panel, a jazz ensemble led by Chris Parker will play a 60-minute set. The featured members of the ensemble are bassist Bill Huntington, drummer Yvette ‘Babygirl’ Preyer, and saxophonist Nathan Hood. For more information, email or call 501.683.3620.

(Photo of Amina Claudine Myers by Crystal Blake)

…Coming Soon…

January 28, 7:30 p.m.

Topic: African Americans in the Arts
February 2, 11:30 a.m.

February 12, 6 p.m.