Patrick Brown, St. Louis’ chief resilience officer, shares plans for the role
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay recently announced that his deputy chief of staff, Patrick Brown, would become the city’s first chief resilience officer.
In this role, Brown will lead city-wide “resilience-building” efforts to help St. Louis deal with catastrophic natural events, like tornados and floods, and stressors like, infrastructure issues, unemployment and civil unrest. Brown will lead the development of a resiliency strategy as part of the city’s membership in 100 Resilient Cities, which is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Brown explained exactly what he will be responsible for in the new role and what challenges he thinks he will face.
The 31-year-old said that the role has two main stages. First, he will be responsible for a year of “stakeholder conversations” to learn what people in the area want and need of a more resilient St. Louis inside the government and outside of it. The second year of the position, will be about implementation.
The Rockefeller Foundation will pay for Brown’s position for two years and make connections between St. Louis programs and funders willing to support those programs. Brown estimates about $1 million will come to the city indirectly in this manner.
“The most difficult job for us is to build the trust of the community I’ll be working with,” Brown said, admitting that St. Louis has many layers of government to navigate “We already have lots of plans and I think there is an acute sense of being tired of planning. People want to see action. Proving this is different will be more difficult than you might expect.”
Brown drew this conclusion during a recent meeting with representatives from the other cities around the globe participating in the project. The cities will continue to exchange ideas and things they are learning throughout the duration of the project.
"Until everyone feels included, we're not going to be a resilient city."
Much of Brown’s role will be seeing what processes are already in place and working similar projects together. He wants to make sure the St. Louis community feels like they have more of a stake in saying what goes on in their government.
"There are many people in the St. Louis community who do not feel included,” Brown said. “Until everyone feels included, we’re not going to be a resilient city.”
Listen as Brown, who has only been in this role for two weeks, describes what he intends to do:
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