OPINION | NRP Funding and neighborhood organizations: Why we need them


The future of neighborhood organizations is in jeopardy.  Why does that matter?  I can make a long list of what neighborhood organizations do to contribute to our safety, security and quality of life in Minneapolis.  But the crucial point is not what the organizations do – it’s about what the organizations enable us to do.

Last year I received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Corcoran Neighborhood Organization for my efforts on the Housing Committee and Board of Directors.  As I read through the list of people nominated for the award, I was truly inspired by all the good work done in the neighborhood by so many dedicated people.  The work of people who

  • created the Midtown Farmers Market and keep it thriving,
  • advocate for us when threatened with new overhead high voltage transmission lines and environmental hazards in our neighborhoods,
  • fight for residents to have a voice in new development, such as that proposed at the public school site at Lake Street and Hiawatha
  • host and attend Neighborhood Night Out events, become Block Club Leaders and form groups like Caring Corcoran Neighbors to impact safety and livability,
  • create events such as the Sustainability Fair and other Corcoran GROWS events, work on energy and environment, and other sustainability issues
  • produce and distribute Corcoran Neighborhood News that informs and connects us.

So with all these great volunteer efforts, why do we need neighborhood organizations with paid staff?  Because most of these efforts would not happen otherwise.  It takes a certain amount of organizational capability to harness the energy of volunteers – to bring people together to discuss issues and design ways to address them.  Without an organization, most of us never would have gotten involved in these activities that have benefitted the neighborhood in so many ways.

If you want to see these efforts continue, let your city council person know today that you do not want the city to freeze NRP funds.  Write, call, email, and also sign on to this petition:  http://www.change.org/petitions/view/keep_nrp_funding_in_minneapolis