Neighborhood Groups Mistrustful of Policy Order

https://www.cambridgeday.com/2020/12/01/passing-orders-resulting-from-oc...

This is the second, cleaned up, Policy Order:

WHEREAS:

The City of Cambridge has many community and neighborhood organizations formed to discuss and advocate for issues that impact their neighborhood and the city as a whole; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

These groups provide effective ways for residents to have a voice in the shaping of their neighborhood and the larger Cambridge community; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

These groups are formed and run by volunteers who donate their time to provide an opportunity for residents to connect with each other, and to have a voice in city affairs; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

These groups have membership and boards that are open to all, and yet may not represent the diverse demographics of their neighborhood, and

 

 

WHEREAS:

These groups are recognized by the City of Cambridge, with their input being sought in some arenas, such as curb cut applications and development proposals and in practice many city boards and agencies seek their input for planning purposes, since they seek to represent the neighborhood, and

 

 

WHEREAS:

These groups can be important and vital to organizing and advocating, and the groups and the city should do all they can to ensure groups are welcoming and all residents feel comfortable taking part in meetings or in online conversations and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The groups spend their own time and sometimes their own funds to do outreach,  and/or provide food or child care at meetings to enable the participation of all residents, including families with young children or other home responsibilities; now therefore be it

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Council go on record appreciating many neighborhood groups' efforts and the tireless work of many group volunteers, while also recognizing that there has been real pain caused by some groups and all groups have room for improvement; and further be it

 

 

ORDERED:

That the Neighborhood and Long Term Planning Committee of the City Council host a meeting to discuss ways to strengthen community bonds and understand whether the city could better support neighborhood organizations; and further be it

 

 

ORDERED:

That the meeting be scheduled with outreach to all existing neighborhood groups with the announced agenda including asking each group what they might want to learn from each other and what they might want to share as best practice so all neighborhood groups which have had success in any areas – recruitment, outreach, engagement, etc. -  have an opportunity to share success as well as challenges.