Henry Santana Named Director of New Office of Civic Organizing
Mayor Michelle Wu today announced Henry Santana will serve as Director of the new Office of Civic Organizing (OCO). The OCO will foster collaborative partnerships and programs that encourage Boston residents to participate in proactive community engagement, awareness, and service in Boston’s neighborhoods. The office will work to reduce barriers and expand opportunities for Boston residents to be active residents in their communities.
“A fundamental part of our recovery must be growing community connectivity,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This new Office of Civic Organizing will mobilize residents to get involved and shape how we support our communities. I know Henry Santana will use his passion for Boston and building community to grow activism across our neighborhoods.”
The Office of Civic Organizing will oversee the Love Your Block program, the City Hall On the Go Truck, and various community service and beautification projects. The new Office will support and hold other City offices accountable for how they are engaging with residents and building a framework for the needs of Boston’s individual neighborhoods. As the inaugural Director of the Office of Civic Organizing, Santana will work with various departments to ensure community engagement and policy-making is being communicated to residents through proactive engagement. Santana was born in Bani, Dominican Republic and moved to Boston as a child.
“The addition of the Office of Civic Organizing to the Community Engagement Cabinet builds on our commitment to empower residents to get involved with their local government through civic engagement,'' said Chief of Community Engagement Brianna Millor. “I am excited to welcome Henry Santana to the Cabinet and look forward to working with him to bring City Hall into our neighborhoods and drive engagement on the constituency level.”
“I am beyond honored and excited to serve under Mayor Wu’s administration and lead the Office of Civic Organizing,'' said Director of the Office of Civic Organizing Henry Santana. “I am ready to bring the skills and values I have developed in my previous roles and showcase them under this administration. I look forward to connecting residents to the City government in new and creative ways.”
Santana previously worked as an Associate at MFS Investment Management. Before that, he served as the Field Director for Councilor Kenzie Bok’s 2019 campaign and as her office’s Director of Operations and Mission Hill and Fenway Liaison following her election. Santana attended Lasell University where he graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science.
Grace Burke will serve under Santana as the Project and Digital Manager in the Office of Civic Organizing. In this role, she will plan community events, organize civic engagement programs, and manage digital content. Burke grew up in the greater Boston area and recently graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester where she earned an honors degree in political science. She previously served as a senior field fellow on the re-election campaign of Senator Ed Markey and as an associate at the Blue Lab Campaign Consulting Group in Boston.
“I am thrilled and immensely grateful to be joining Mayor Wu’s historic administration as a part of the new Office of Civic Organizing,'' said Project and Digital Manager Grace Burke. “I am excited to work together with community organizers to empower residents to be active in their neighborhoods and in the city governing process.“
The Office of Civic Organizing has launched the 2022 Love Your Block Mini-Grant Program as one of its first programs. The program provides up to $3,500 in funding to support clean-up and beautification projects. Organizations and individuals interested in participating can submit an application here to propose a community beautification project by Friday, June 10 at 5:00 p.m.
In addition to the mini-grants, the Office of Civic Organizing will also offer residents the opportunity to partner with the City on year-round clean-up events and a tool lending program that will help residents complete their neighborhood revitalization projects. Residents can request support for a neighborhood clean up here.