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Reconnecting America's Bill Sadler Joins The 2012 Next American Vanguard Class

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Reconnecting America Program Associate Bill Sadler has been named to the 2012 Next American Vanguard Class. Sadler is one of 43 people selected from nearly 200 applications by Next American City for this year’s class. According to the announcement at, Next American Vanguard Class members were chosen for their bright ideas for cities, experience in the field and ambition for the future.

Sadler is based in Denver, and is actively engaged in transit planning and TOD initiatives at the corridor and regional scales around the country, providing education, research, capacity building and technical assistance support on these projects.

In his application for the 2012 Next American Vanguard Class, Sadler wrote:

"Most of my place-based work is focused on the Denver region’s multibillion dollar transit expansion and the TOD opportunities it will create. I recently completed a TOD implementation strategy for the West Corridor light rail line in Denver, which lifted up the recommendations from 14 station area plans and provided strategies for moving all these plans forward in a realistic, holistic and coordinated fashion. I am now working with the regional MPO, the Denver Regional Council of Governments, to do a similar analysis on three other transit corridors. I have also been working with several nonprofits and foundations to launch Mile High Connects, an equity collaborative seeking to ensure that TOD benefits all populations. As part of this effort, I served as project manager and primary author of the Denver Regional Equity Atlas, a spatial analysis of how transit provides access to opportunity for residents of the Denver region with respect to housing, jobs, education and health. It has received local and national attention for its innovative, spatially-based approach to documenting the opportunities and challenges transit will create for the Denver region’s most disadvantaged residents. Other communities across the country are taking notice of these projects and undertaking similar efforts."

Asked what difference he hopes to make in his community in the next five years, Sadler wrote in part:

"I expect to see the fruits of my current planning efforts develop into bricks-and-mortar development that includes affordable housing choices, space for small businesses, educational opportunities, healthy food and other amenities that are essential to a complete community. My vision is that equity becomes institutionalized into the planning process and just a common part of community and economic development decision-making."

Sadler and the other members of the class will be assembling in St. Louis in October, along with past members of the Vanguard, for workshops, tours and panel discussions about how to improve American cities. A host committee, led by the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, and including members from HOK, STLStyle, Preservation Research Office, McCormick Baron Salazar and others, has lent time and support to the event.