2009-01-02 / News

Columbia Council of Neighborhoods holds annual meeting

Contributed by Elizabeth Fryga

Daisy Block of Melrose Heights Neighborhood Association, Mary B. Waters, president of Heathwood Community Association and husband Sam, and Tige Watts, president of the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods attend the annual banquet of the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods. Daisy Block of Melrose Heights Neighborhood Association, Mary B. Waters, president of Heathwood Community Association and husband Sam, and Tige Watts, president of the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods attend the annual banquet of the Columbia Council of Neighborhoods. The Columbia Council of Neighborhoods held its annual banquet at the Print Building in Eau Claire December 18, 2008. The Columbia Council of Neighborhoods is a volunteer, community- based umbrella organization which coordinates the activities of approximately 95 city neighborhood organizations. While Columbia is socially and economically diverse, all neighborhoods have similar needs. CCN serves as a clearinghouse for information, provides a forum for discussion of neighborhood issues, and fosters the education of neighborhood leadership. CCN committees are actively addressing such quality of life issues as drugs, crime, and toxic waste.

Prior to CCN, residents often experienced difficulty in effectively communicating community needs; local officials unilaterally decided spending priorities. Neighborhoods competed unequally for available funds, despite similar needs.

Bessie Watson of Edisto Court Neighborhood Association Bessie Watson of Edisto Court Neighborhood Association CCN now provides a link between neighborhood groups and city officials, enhancing the process of identifying neighborhood problems and setting priorities for solutions. The unusual features of CCN are that each group defines its own community boundaries instead of some government agency imposing a uniform size or shape, and each group participates voluntarily. These concepts of self definition and participation create a real sense of ownership and empowerment.

www.columbianeighborhoods.org/

Tina Forsthoefel and Caroline Watson of Wales Garden Neighborhood Association Tina Forsthoefel and Caroline Watson of Wales Garden Neighborhood Association

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