Thursday, May 28, 2009
Here is a group of people that attended the NUSA conference in Spokane, Washington last week. Most are involved in the City of Dayton's Priority Board system. The group contains two city of Dayton staff from the Division of Citizen Participation, one former city employee, three Priority Board Chairpersons, a Vice Chairperson (and member of the Dayton Public School Board) and four Priority Board members from those boards that did not send a Chairperson or who were involved in the NUSA organization. One of whom is a primary school principle in Dayton.
The NUSA Conference brought over 400 people together from different cities around the US. There were even representatives from Canada and Japan in attendance. These people share ways that they strive to improve their communities in their own cities. Spokane has a thriving downtown complete with a mall, many restaurants and food sellers, a drug store, multi-level parking, hair salons, antique stores, a Macy's, lots of filled office space and a well utilized and maintained recreational park in the heart of the city.
Several of us from this group of neighborhood leaders had many discussions about how to improve Dayton's neighborhoods and make a downtown environment like that in Spokane. We all agree that citizen involvement in local government is a key factor as well as having effective, open communication channels with our residents and business owners.
I can tell that there's a lot of potential for our city in these leaders if they could just cut through the red tape at City Hall.