Panel to speak on neighborhood organizing
FutureHeights will host “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” a program about neighborhood organizing, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, at The Bottlehouse Brewing Company, 2050 Lee Road. The event will feature panelists Pete Titas of Cain Park Neighborhood Association; Sarah Wean of the Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Historic District in Coventry Village; Jason Stein, member of Cleveland Heights City Council; and Deanna Bremer Fisher, executive director of FutureHeights.
The panelists will discuss their experiences with neighborhood organizing and how others can start their own neighborhood groups. The event is free and open to the public; however, a courtesy R.S.V.P. is requested by going to www.bemyneighbor.eventbrite.com.
“The event brings together leaders of Heights groups who have been successful in engaging their neighbors in initiatives to improve their quality of life,” said Deanna Bremer Fisher. “Our hope is to create an alliance of these neighborhood groups that could meet periodically to share best practices and learn from each other’s successes.”
Below, panelists answer the question ow has neighborhood organizing affected your neighborhood?
“In the Cain Park neighborhood, organizing has helped give our neighborhood an identity and has helped foster a new sense of community. It has increased communication with our neighbors and with the city, as well. Organizing has also turned the streets surrounding Cain Park into a neighborhood with great events like block parties, picnics and park cleanups. But mainly, it has helped us realize that there are a ton of great people in our neighborhood and at city hall who all share the common goal of making our neighborhood a better place to live.” - Pete Titas, Cain Park Neighborhood Association
“Recent resident initiatives have had a huge impact on the Grant Deming's Forest Hill District of Coventry Village. From listing the neighborhood in the National Register of Historic Places—courtesy of Lincoln Boulevard resident Mark Souther—to the creation of a neighborhood networking website with a membership of 350 and growing, Grant Deming District neighbors are stepping up to help maintain and build a more connected and engaged neighborhood.” - Sarah Wean, Grant Deming's Forest Hill Historic District of Coventry Village
“Throughout the city, groups of residents are making a positive impact. The groups that have success share a similar proactive and collaborative spirit. It is about, how we can make our little area of the city better and more appealing. It does not take a lot of money or government intervention to make a difference, but it does take a principled commitment of working together to create positive outcomes. Groups like the Berkeley Street Association, Blanche Neighbors and Cain Park Neighborhood Association are contributing to the rejuvenation of the Taylor Road area” - Jason Stein, Cleveland Heights City Council
Kevin Smith is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights and chair of the FutureHeights FutureNow Committee.