Mayor Ellis chosen for urban planning workshop


Monroe Chamber of Commerce

HARD WORK: Mayor Ellis begins the urban planning workshop at Harvard this spring.

Hanna Flynn

Mayor Friday Ellis of Monroe has been selected to join the 2023 Mayor’s Institute on City Design (MCID) hosted by the Just City Mayoral Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design starting sometime this spring. This opportunity will allow Ellis to explore new ways of improving the city and impacting individuals through city design and infrastructure. “The 2023 Fellowship will build upon past cohorts, focusing on ways to embed justice and equity goals within city governments’ policies and practices,” the MICD said. “This program will continue to explore ways to create lasting, transformational impacts from new federal revenue streams such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.” Through this online and in-person fellowship, several mayors will come together to investigate and discuss issues within their cities and ways to improve them. The goal of the program is to help these mayors develop strategies to make lasting changes in their communities. “To have the opportunity to work with world-renowned urban planning and city design professionals is amazing,” Ellis said. Ellis knows that running a city is hard work, and he is looking forward to learning not only from the professionals at Harvard but also from his fellow mayors. In 2022, Ellis participated in the Authentic Leadership Executive Education Course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He returned with the intent to share his vision with the city of Monroe. Based on his past devotion to improving our infrastructure in Monroe by fixing sewer issues, improving road conditions and working to revitalize historic buildings, it is likely that he will put as much effort into his plans for 2023. This opportunity at the MICD could bring positive changes to Monroe, such as further improved infrastructure, job opportunities and even more successful leadership. The institute focuses on putting equality, inclusion and equity at the forefront of urban planning. The goal of the Harvard Graduate School of Design is to change the
way urban planners think before they build new infrastructure so that problems such as increased crime rates and poverty can be prevented before they begin. With Mayor Ellis hoping to renovate Downtown Monroe, the conference gives Ellis a chance to see ways where construction can be done to benefit all people within Monroe city limits.