ReConnect Rondo to host first Reconnecting Communities Summit

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For Immediate Release:

September 18, 2023

Media inquires:

Tim Hunt


Saint Paul, Minn — The first-ever convening of communities divided by the federal highway system will happen in St. Paul, MN from October 12-14. The Reconnecting Communities Summit will gather leaders from across the nation and is part of a national restorative movement that will help advance policy and investment in revitalizing communities of color experiencing residual negative impacts of transportation policy.

“The story of Rondo is the story of communities across the country. Highway projects have devasted thousands of households. The Reconnecting Communities Summit is an opportunity to share, learn and plan collective efforts to overcome the negative impacts of the Federal Highway Act of 1956.”, said Keith Baker, Executive Director of Reconnect Rondo.

Sponsored by the AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE) in partnership with the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), ReConnect Rondo will host the event that will feature several opportunities, including presentations by national and local transportation industry leaders and workshops discussing vital issues such as project fund development, transportation equity and environmental impact.

“AASHTO is committed to improving quality of life by working toward a transportation system that serves the needs of every community safely, equitably, sustainably, and efficiently.”, said Joshua Rodriguez, Director for the AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE)

April Rai, President and CEO of COMTO, says, “We are proud to support this one-of-a-kind gathering initiated by communities, for communities. The first step in repairing harm done by past transportation policies is to ensure all voices are represented in the decision-making process as these projects take shape. COMTO and our 38 chapters are committed to supporting this initial summit and the ongoing community of practice to ensure all stakeholders stay engaged and see these projects come to fruition.”

A press conference will be held as a part of the conference on October 12th at 4:30pm to announce the forming of a consortium dedicated to advancing policy and education to help reconnect communities impacted by transportation policy. 

Location details

Intercontinental Hotel, Saint Paul

11 E Kellogg Blvd

St Paul, MN 55101

About ReConnect Rondo

ReConnect Rondo is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring equity and opportunity in Rondo by leading a united effort in pursuit of one common goal — a revitalized African-American Cultural Enterprise District connected by a community land bridge. For more information, go to


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ReConnect Rondo Technical Advisory Team:

  • David Juliff, Be Civil, Inc.
  • Khani Sahebjam, SRF Consulting Group
  • John Maczko, SRF Consulting Group
  • Kent Arhenholtz, Kaskaskia Engineering Group
  • Brenda Thomas, KLJ, Inc
  • Marcus Thomas, Bolton & Menk
  • Scott McBride, Bolton & Menk
  • Marcell Walker, Bolton & Menk
  • Veronica Burt, 600 Strategies, Inc.
  • Björgvin Sævarsson, YORTH Group
  • Katie Eggers, YORTH Group
  • Jim Erkel, Retired Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA)
  • Brian Isaacson, Ramsey County
  • Diem Van Groth, Strategic Consultant