The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on communities all across the world. Elizabeth, N.J. is one of them. Every ten years municipalities in New Jersey review their policies and programs to adjust to current events. The City of Elizabeth is in the process of developing their 10 year Master Plan, including development, transportation, housing, and community health. Our goal for the Woodrow Wilson Civic Spring grant opportunity is to position our Groundwork Youth team, which is made up of a team of diverse youth aged 14-24, to take a leadership position to work with members of those who make decisions about community health, specifically issues related to COVID-19 and other possible disease outbreaks. Members will include Trinitas Regional Medical Center, the City’s only hospital, the City of Elizabeth and Union County Health Departments, the public housing community, other nonprofits, and the community at large. We aim to provide opportunities for youth voices to coordinate suggestions that can mitigate the effects of this pandemic and propose solutions for policies that will prepare the community for probable similar experiences while educating them about the difference that civic actions can make. We then will formally submit their suggestions to the authors of 10 year Master Plan being undertaken now by the City of Elizabeth as a civic project with long term value.
The Elizabeth, NJ Team