News release from the City of Fort Wayne sent yesterday:
Mayor Sends Off Community Leaders Heading to Neighborhood Conference in Ohio
Conference will be held in Fort Wayne in 2012
(September 21, 2011) – Mayor Tom Henry today heralded the efforts of a contingent of 32 local neighborhood leaders and association presidents who will attend the Regional Neighborhood Network Conference (RNNC) this week. The conference is from Sept. 22 to Sept. 24 in Cincinnati, Ohio; most of Fort Wayne representatives will ride a bus that departs at 12:30p.m. Thursday from Freimann Square.
The RNNC is comprised of neighborhood representatives from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. It is designed for grassroots, corporate, government, foundation, faith-based and non-profit leaders “dedicated to improving the quality of life in their communities.”
Fort Wayne will host the RNNC in September 2012.
“Our city is fortunate to have so many civic-minded leaders committed to the well being of their residents, families and neighborhoods,” Mayor Henry said. “I believe that active, informed neighborhoods are vital to the success of our city.”
Fort Wayne is home to more than 400 neighborhood associations. Mayor Henry has sought to engage neighborhood leaders and encourage residents to provide feedback that will help city government better serve the entire community.
In keeping with his commitment to involve neighborhoods, the mayor has appointed neighborhood leaders to such groups as the Sewer Advisory Group, the Clean Rivers Task Force, the Fort Wayne Legacy Committee, the Solid Waste Task Force, Walk Fort Wayne and Bike Fort Wayne, among others. He also seeks feedback from residents at neighborhood association meetings, during neighborhood walks and through social media. The Mayor’s office also seeks to improve communication among neighborhood groups through FencePost, an online SmartGov initiative.
The city has also created programs to improve infrastructure in neighborhoods, such as the faÃ§ade program, which focuses on improving business districts in city neighborhoods.
The RNNC was founded 25 years ago, when a group of community leaders decided to offer neighborhood presidents in the five-state region an alternative to the expensive national neighborhood conferences.
The conference offers grassroots community leaders the opportunity to obtain training and access the information needed to reinforce their leadership skills and make sound suggestions to city government.
During the conference, local neighborhood leaders will join in discussions on such issues as crime prevention, neighborhood beautification, youth engagement and neighborhood revitalization. Fort Wayne’s Community Liaisons, Cherise Dixie and Brent Wake, will be accompanying the group to Cincinnati and leading workshops at this years conference.
Today, Mayor Henry thanked the Urban Enterprise Association for providing the grants that made it possible for many of the neighborhood leaders to attend.
“I would like to thank those community leaders who will be representing Fort Wayne at the conference this year,” Mayor Henry said. “And, thanks to those who may not be attending, but who also do a tremendous job of making our neighborhoods – and our community – a better place.”