12 years in Noda area; 8 in Belmont community and Optimist Park. Prior to this, I lived a mile or two over in Country Club Heights and coordinated a crew for Habitat for Humanity 25 years ago, and I and my crew personally framed and roofed many homes in this community. When I divorced and moved to this community it was a great feeling seeing those homes again. I like the close proximity to downtown, and the mix of generations, cultures and perspectives.
Story: Our neighbor the late Mr. Horton, used to sit on his front porch and greet us every day. He often had cold root beers for us, and always watched out for us when we were out of town. A special memory, is he and my daughter playing their guitars together.
Action: Actively begin to build relationships based on trust with diverse stakeholders. This is a process that will not occur overnight. Preserving the history of neighborhoods as new groups move in is important. We live in a diverse community that has groups of elders and stakeholders who maintain strong values related to an oral tradition. They are not moved by flyers and posters. To “create” a neighborhood means being willing to engage in a process of discomfort and struggle as diverse groups of people take time to develop and build relationships based on trust. Community outreach and community organizing means going out into neighborhoods, knocking on doors, shaking hands and asking the “community” what it wants.