A neighborhood association is a group of residents and business owners who share a specific space in a community. These neighbors come together for a number of different activities that are social, educational, civic, and political in nature—activities that are always decided upon, and enacted by, the neighbors who participate in the association. This is an important point to make: the democratic and grassroots nature of the organization ensures that all members are given equal opportunity to participate and that leadership positions are many, and open to all.
How They Work
Neighborhood associations connect residents and empower them to act together on behalf of their neighborhood and the community. Residents who are organized under a neighborhood association are in a better position to make changes. Organizing as a group to work for change, as opposed to working individually, generally results in more successful efforts. Neighborhood association members experience personal benefits as well, including the ability to share knowledge with others, the ability to ‘know a guy’ when you need something done, and the opportunity to meet people who may help you advance in your personal or professional life. These are only a few of the benefits for residents, and neighborhoods, when there is an effective neighborhood association present.
However, even with all of the benefits it can be difficult to find the time to participate in yet another group—luckily, neighborhood associations are different from other groups with regard to individual member participation. Neighborhood associations are flexible, meaning that individual participation can fluctuate over time to adjust to other demands for a member’s time and energy. The flexibility of the organization also helps ensure that the association does not suffer as individual member participation changes. They also have a low threshold for minimum member participation—meaning that almost everyone can find the time to participate in their neighborhood association.
The simplest way to participate with YOUR neighborhood association is to attend neighborhood social events or meetings. Visit your neighborhood’s web page for additional neighborhood information–including association members contact information. They’d love to hear your interests for the neighborhood and how you’d like to be involved!
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NEIGHBORWORKS® AMERICA AND RESIDENT LEADERSHIP