A Brief History
Since incorporating in 1997, the South Central Assembly (formerly South Central Assembly for Effective Governance) has created a variety of public forums. These have encouraged discussions that have led to action on matters of good governance. Topics have ranged from health and human services to land use and growth management and from transportation to police services. Throughout, we have come to appreciate more fully the diverse communities of the region, its interconnected nature, and the common, persistent challenges that influence it. Too often, we view issues through limited perspectives when a holistic approach is needed.
The Assembly focuses on the broad scope of regional quality-of-life issues in south central Pennsylvania. We offer a venue for like-minded individuals to collaborate for the public good. The services we offer include conferences, research, advocacy, and training on pressing issues facing our communities individually and the region as a whole. This is a look back on a decade and a half history of action supporting the Assembly's regional planning orientation:
The inaugural 1997 Summit, A Region at Risk, focused on land use, growth management, and transportation concerns. These themes continue to be among the core of persistent regional issues that have engaged the Assembly over the years. As a result of our work, we have:
Ten years after incorporating as The South Central Assembly for Effective Governance (SCAFEG), the Board of Directors decided to shorten the name to South Central Assembly. In part, this was to simplify things. It also addressed the concern expressed by many that the Assembly promoted municipal consolidations. While certainly one option, the collaboration of individuals that is the Assembly can
only investigate options for better structures, which include well vetted practices from across the Commonwealth. In particular, it has liked to highlight creative local practices that municipalities might want to embrace for being more effective stewards of the public trust. In addition, the growing interest in the nongovernmental sector suggested that the name change would be more representative. The core mission to create venues to address issues of regional concern, however, remains unchanged.
More recently, in support of its mission, the Assembly:
American Public Works Association (APWA)
Modern Transit Partnership (MTA)
Penn State Harrisburg
Hosted a 15th Anniversary Beyond the Great Recession Summit
As with many other nonprofit organizations, the Great Recession set the Assembly back. Its sources of funding dried up and alternatives, which supported the Assembly’s mission and that had shown promise, did not pan out. Still, the Assembly’s mission to offer a regional venue and the resolve of a core of individuals has kept the Assembly active. Building off the 2012 Summit, new energy and resolve are engaged. Three program committees - Community Revitalization, Housing & Community Development, and Local Government - are developing their focuses. The Board of Directors looks forward to learning about the directions they are led to pursue.
Until committees develop structures and regular meeting dates, please express your interest by contacting the Assembly Coordinator, Stephen Scanlon at firstname.lastname@example.org. He will put you in touch with the person(s) best suited to engage your interest. Committee membership is earned through engagement. Interested persons should participate and through that practice become engaged. While it is encouraged, Assembly membership is not required. Feel free to grow engaged in an activity first.