Heidi Benzonelli

Research Analyst

Biography: 

Heidi Benzonelli is the program director for the Westside Community Building Initiative, the president of the Board of the Westside Community Improvement Association, and she organizes and advocates for improved health and livability of Eureka’s Westside

Heidi is a Humboldt State alumna with degrees in Environmental Resources Engineering with an emphasis in energy, and an M.B.A. focused on strategic sustainability.

Westside Community Building Initiative efforts include collaboration with law enforcement, code enforcement, neighbors, the real estate community and others to address safety, blight and chronic conditions plaguing the Westside. The collaborators are known as the Westside Neighborhood Improvement Project and have addressed 30 chronic nuisance properties and 10 alleys in West Eureka. The initiative also organized neighborhood networks to address concerns and share common interests in their own neighborhoods. Relationship building among neighbors improves safety, sets common standards, and builds community. The Westside Alley Reclamation project addresses graffiti, drug epicenters, overgrown weeds, and trash dumping and is returning the unclaimed commons to the neighbors and the community. The Westside Community Building Initiative focuses deeply on developing residenteaders and engaging feedback loops so the neighbors experience not only the qualitative improvements but also the quantitative results of the collective effort across the whole community. Relationships among neighbors are also cemented planning larger community events such as a square dance, a safety fair, movie nights and more. Heidi is located at the Jefferson Community Center in West Eureka and more information about community events and happenings can be found at Jefferson-Project.org or facebook.com/Jefferson.project .

Heidi Benzonelli