Officials React to Mount Washington Grant

Haverhill Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Mayor James J. Fiorentini address reporters at Swasey Field. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini at Swasey Field following a shooting incident in the Mount Washington neighborhood.

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rep. Brian S. Dempsey, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Local officials are reacting to the awarding of a $475,000 Working Cities grant to the new Mount Washington Alliance, calling the win a “cross-sectoral approach” and creating “access to job opportunities and educational activities.”

Mayor James J. Fiorentini and state Rep. Brian S. Dempsey were among those this morning praising the grant announced yesterday (see “Mt. Washington Group Wins $475,000 Anti-Poverty Grant”) by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

“As a former Mount Washington resident, I am thrilled that this unprecedented coalition has won this prestigious grant to improve the economic, educational and social conditions of this gateway neighborhood,” Fiorentini said. “Improving economic outcomes and expanding opportunities for residents of Mount Washington requires a multi-pronged, cross-sectoral approach. I am gratified that the Federal Reserve has recognized our efforts and approach by deciding to invest in our community.”

Although the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston listed a number of organizations making up the Mount Washington Alliance, Fiorentini said, the city, Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and Community Action Inc. are the “lead organizations.”

John Cuneo, Community Action’s executive director, said the alliance will work to close the social and economic “opportunity gap” between the Mount Washington neighborhood and the rest of the Haverhill community. “The initiative will include efforts to improve employment, education, and an array of neighborhood conditions including housing, health, and safety. Residents will play a prominent role in shaping and evaluating the work of this Alliance.”

“This grant will enhance access to job opportunities and educational activities while improving neighborhood conditions in Haverhill’s Mount Washington District,” said Dempsey. “Bringing together a strong cross-section of partners through the Mt Washington Alliance, the Working Cities collaboration ensures a commitment to the Mount Washington District and its community.”

“This Working Cities Challenge grant is a testament to the strong public-private sector collaboration embodied in the Mount Washington Alliance, which has worked diligently to produce an innovative plan to spark economic growth and provide greater opportunities for families in the Mount Washington Neighborhood of Haverhill,” said state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives.