Friday, November 23, 2012

Neighborhood Centers

One of the most important parts of Detroit are its block clubs and neighborhood associations. They need the city to have offices or at least people who go to community meetings to take complaints and follow through with issues residents have. Detroiters have suffered neglect in this area for far too long!

I would bring an expanded version: a rebirth of the neighborhood watch, help in organizing more block clubs, assistance for more than one community clean-up a year and access to bulk pick-up on demand for groups. There would also be help to have block club parties: make bouncy houses available, bring back the swimmobile, and help in blocking off the street safely. Groups may need help in making block club signs and window stickers to show they are a group, as well as how to handle the funds they collect. Across the city there could be organized cook-offs and talent shows through these groups. These activities do not cost a lot of money, can use shared equipment and are essential to bringing Detroit back and capitalizing on the strong sense of neighborhood Detroiters have.

There could also be neighborhood mediators that would be trained to deal with minor disputes that the people involved in would be willing to sit down to for mediation. For example, teen-parent disagreements or next door neighbor non-violent disputes.

So much information can be passed on through block clubs and neighborhood associations both from the city government to the neighbors and also the neighbors giving input into how the city is run. It is a good chance to spread the word about what is happening at the local library, local recreation center, or what is happening to the local bus schedule and to give everyone a chance to have their say. Block clubs and neighborhood associations cut down on crime, improve quality of life and generally make Detroit a happier place to live.

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