WSCO was involved in creating West Side Neighborhood Housing Services (later NeighborWorks Home Partners). In 1989, a new group emerged, Neighborhood Development Alliance (NeDA), a development corporation dedicated solely to the West Side.
WSCO brought together 60 local businesspeople and organized them into the West Side Development Corporation. In 1989 this group spun off into the Riverview Economic Association (REDA)
1980 and 1981: WSCO promoted Prospect Bluff through historical home tours; 900 people paid to participate in 1980 alone. The project’s success helped to initiate West Side Neighborhood Housing Services around the same time.
80 members of the WSCO library committee organized around 600 people to deliver a petition of a 3,300 signatures to save Riverview Public Library
The City tried to sell parkland on Harriet Island for upscale housing. WSCO’s Harriet Island Committee joined a lawsuit, and the City backed down. Harriet Island remained open to the public.
Saint Paul changed to a ward system: WSCO coordinated with four other communities in Ward 2, and held leadership meetings on issues of mutual concern.
WSCO managed Riverfront Days, a 10-day festival, which included local musicians, a circus, a children’s area, carnival rides and games, water shows, sports exhibitions, and special programs for seniors and persons with disabilities. This morphed into Riverfest (which ran from 1983-1998).
WSCO organized “A Flood of History,” conference, with hundreds of West Siders and many academics. Topics included: history as seen through settlement houses, ethnic neighborhoods, and labor traditions, and more.
WSCO organized over 600 neighbors to ensure the Smith Avenue High Bridge was rebuilt, challenging government officials who wanted to tear it down and not rebuild. This was the state’s first ever major highway project that involved neighborhood leaders in both planning and design.
To support struggling local businesses during the High Bridge rebuild, WSCO and the Smith-Dodd Business Association promoted annual “Sale to the Bridge and Back” sidewalk sale festivals, attracting 10,000-20,000 attendees.
WSCO became a founding member of the St. Paul Neighborhood Energy Consortium (now Neighborhood Energy Connection), created to coordinate energy services delivery and to give communities a voice in formulating energy policies. WSCO created a subsidiary, the WSCO Energy Company.
Northern States Power (now Xcel) proposed burning 25,000 gallons of transformer oil at its High Bridge plant. WSCO raised concerns about environmental and health impacts, researched safer alternatives, rallied citywide and national support, and won: NSP canceled plans to burn oil in the neighborhood.
The second West Side district plan was adopted
The Humboldt Parent/Community Advisory Committee (HPCAC), a group organized earlier by WSCO, worked with Native American staff to lead students in an examination of the Humboldt symbol. They held a community meeting on cultural awareness; ongoing American Indian teacher recruitment, Indian curricula, and student support. West Side Native Americans Grace Smith, Betty and Henry GreenCrow and Bonnie and Jim Clairmont took the lead in continuing community dialogue, developing recommendations, and building consensus for a new Humboldt symbol, the Hawk, unveiled in 1992.