A vital community resource

Welcome! To the many new people moving into Minneapolis neighborhoods:

Hello and thank you! And thank you, too, to all of the volunteers that have worked and those that continue to work so hard for what you believe in: our neighborhoods.

There are so many good things happening in this city, but today I would like to include you in a conversation about a vital community resource: neighborhood associations.

Neighborhood associations are a wonderful way to participate in the fabric of city life. The associations plan and hold many great events, but they are not just event planners. They often take on informational roles and make statements to the city regarding grassroots issues, but they are not just community organizers.

Although recognized by the City of Minneapolis, they are not just an official representative. They are so much more. They are your neighbors.

Neighborhood associations are registered non-profit organizations with membership-elected boards of directors that work with staff, volunteers, residents, businesses, multiple community organizations, city and county departments and elected officials.

But what are they really? They are:

  • The thread that helps to sew a neighborhood together.
  • Connectors to neighbors within the neighborhood boundaries and to the city, county and state.
  • Communicators and a local information resource.
  • Translators for public policy.
  • Researchers on local issues and designers of solutions for local needs.
  • Employers locally sourcing people and companies for local projects, with everything going back into our local economy.
  • Reliable, long-term fiscal agents for project grants, city funds and fundraising revenue whose oversight includes not only their local membership but also the City of Minneapolis and the Council of Nonprofits. The grant money received from the city, county, state and foundations, as well as through fundraising, is directed and used here at the grassroots level where it is does the most good and has the most effect.

As someone who has served on a neighborhood association board, worked closely with city contracts and funding as a treasurer, participated in and helped plan many community events and projects and who grew up in an awesome neighborhood (the Wedge) with a strong neighborhood association (Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association, or LHENA), I would like to share something with you: Neighborhood associations are pretty cool and a great way to get involved.

There is no membership fee and they’re always looking for new members.

Interested?

Which neighborhood are you in? Find out here: minneapolismn.gov/ncr/links/index.htm.

Saralyn Romanishan

The Wedge

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