“Daphne Politis was project manager… her work included organizing and holding extensive … work sessions; conducting many smaller meetings with ethnic, religious, political, charitable and other community groups… and finally delivering a concise and engaging project report… [She] designed an excellent and inclusive public participation process and executed it perfectly… Her commitment and willingness to work with residents and community leaders with a diverse range of interests never floundered. Her humbleness, patience, and skill to forge consensus saved a number of steering committee meetings…The final report received the unanimous endorsement of the steering committee.”
Roland Bartl, Planning Director, Acton, MA
“We were seeking a person with unique abilities to connect with people of different ethnic backgrounds, a wide range of age groups, and a creative approach. Daphne fit all these characteristics… She planned a strategy that would bring the outreach process to the different groups in places where they were comfortable… We were able to provide translation for those who were non-English speaking…She was able to relate to the experience of newer immigrants…She has a unique perspective and friendly, open style that immediately put people at ease…She was able to get people to talk frankly about their experiences here in Acton, and what they would like to see happen in Acton’s future. She was able to elicit Acton’s core values—what we cherish about our town that we want to preserve, and what we might want to change. She was able to find both the commonalities and the differences.”
Lauren Rosenzweig, Selectman, Town of Acton
"I am a believer that planners should learn and uderstand the culture and complexities of each community they serve. Ms. Politis was very patient in trying to understand the complexities of Chinatown, which is a very diverse community and has many political layers and players...She was very thorough in the planning down to the last detail. An important point I like to make about the attention to detail is because a meeting in Chinatown is very unlike other community public meetings... A large number of attendees are seniors and require translation -- which requires coordination with an interpreter, providing translation equipment, presenting slides bilingually and providing [culturally relevant] refreshments... Ms. Politis's attention to detail helped avert disasters."
Kye Liang, Project Coordinator, Chinatown Gateway Coalition
“At each stage of the plan Daphne ensured that the public was adequately informed and brought on board…. I always found her ideas and presentation to be fresh and invigorating. Finally, she often successfully served as mediator and the unifying force for a sometimes contentious Committee.”
Angela Harkness, Esq., Town of Westford, EBCMPC Member
“The [twenty] focus group sessions were held over two very intense weeks, and Daphne was tireless. Her facilitation skills are outstanding. She also has an excellent understanding of group dynamics, and in every session was able to engage the participants and cultivate valuable discussions….In addition to ensuring that each of the participants had a positive experience ,Ms. Politis care and professionalism resulted in very strong and relevant data… She worked equally well with students, faculty and staff, treating them with the same respect. Ms. Politis is energetic, fun, creative and flexible.”
Tanya Iatridis, Senior Director, University Planning Office, Harvard University
"The outreach methods you developed and executed to get the whole town involved in the Plan process created a buy-in that resulted in overwhelming support for issues that were considered controversial. The debate was spirited but the vote wasn't even close. The Master Plan, and the people who worked for it and support it, won. Thanks to you the greatest possible number of citizens were able to participate in the Master Plan process and make it something they could call their own. And now they are coming together to make it work...Everyone agrees that the format and protocols established by you and your team and implemented during the master plan process is the way to go. You taught us how to fish."
Carl Lavin, Co-chair Master Plan Steering Committee, Canton, MA
“I wish to thank you and your team… for your recent efforts in preparing and presenting a master plan for Fall River… This two-year project involved significant public participation and working with key officials of the City of Fall River. It also involved quite a bit of background research and analysis of existing and expected conditions in the City. The focus groups and workshops were very useful in preparing the level of detail achieved in the implementation program for the master plan…. Your public participation and communication skills are models for others to follow.”
James Hartnett, Planning Director, City of Fall River
“Ms. Politis was a tremendous asset to this project and many of its successes can be attributed to her ability to coordinate and lead our public meetings. Her workshop design and execution allowed the Town to garner the information from residents in the most efficient and thorough manner. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to “read the crowd” and conduct her public meetings so that she reaches everyone in the audience… On more than one occasion the Downtown Study Committee was taken with Ms. Politis ability to go one step further than was outlined in the project scope… I had the opportunity to work closely with Ms. Politis and was impressed with her knowledge of current trends and ideas in land use, downtown revitalization, workshop design and the field of planning overall.”
Kristine Trierweiler, Assistant Town Administrator, Medfield, MA
“We are writing to enthusiastically recommend Daphne Politis for her work facilitating our public event…she led credibility to our public planning process because of her fair and unbiased professional manner and her experience with other towns… Daphne is very organized and was excellent with follow through and follow up to ensure that nothing was forgotten or overlooked.”
The Belmont Center Planning Group, Belmont, MA
"The response to the Environmental Health Report from health care professionals was very positive (these included a professor/researcher from Tufts Department of Public and Community Medicine, the Director of Tufts Medical Center Community Health Improvement Programs and a health consultant for local area hospitals). From a planning point of view, I believe that this work was groundbreaking because it poses the broader question of: Do developments have an impact on the health of a community and how can developments mitigate these impacts? Ms. Politis' Environmental Health report of Chinatown may be used as a template for future planning in other neighborhoods in the City of Boston."
Kye Liang, Project Coordinator, Chinatown Gateway Coalition