The Our Riverside, Our Neighborhoods Initiative is a citizen-led visioning and
action-oriented planning process where Riverside residents will create unique
neighborhood strategies for each of Riverside’s 26 neighborhoods in a 26 month
time frame. The name was changed to “Our Riverside Our Neighborhoods” from
“26 in 26” based on community member input. This is just one example of how
this initiative is co-created with community and City staff! Riverside Neighborhood
Partnership (RNP) members and City of Riverside Neighborhoods staff have developed
a public process through which neighbors can work together to create a neighborhood
strategy meant to help each neighborhood maintain or advance towards its full
potential. Implementation of each strategy will be borne by the residents of
the neighborhoods and other partners in addition to City Staff for an open
and collaborative experience. Our Riverside Our Neighborhoods will result in
an ongoing community effort to identify and celebrate neighborhood strengths and
empower residents to make the most out of those strengths.
There are many opportunities for public participation in Our Riverside Our Neighborhoods. The first Neighborhood Celebration and Kick-Off event occurred on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at Bobby Bonds Park. The event was a lively celebration of our neighbors and provided the opportunity for people to learn about how to use Asset-Based Community Development to affect positive change in their neighborhoods. This was the first of 5 Neighborhood Celebrations that will each include music, activities for kids, and interactive learning activities for all ages on how to tap into their natural gifts, skills, talents, and networks to help make a difference in their communities. Out of this event, leaders who wish to take the next step and begin a “Neighborhood Hospitality Team” will go home and gather with neighbors to share their hopes and dreams for their neighborhood and come up with creative ways that they can work together to make a difference in their communities. As neighbors become more engaged with one another, they will move on to participate in a neighborhood strategy session, where neighbors will have the opportunity to develop a shared vision and to create a unique strategy that will help them to maintain or strive for the full potential of their neighborhood. Please check the “Events” page frequently and sign up for more info on the “Contact” page so that we can keep you updated on upcoming events.
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) is simply a shift in focus from thinking
in terms of problems, needs or deficiencies to thinking in terms of existing
assets and strengths that all places and people possess. ABCD focuses on
building community capacity to achieve neighborhood goals and reduce reliance
on grant funding or government intervention when addressing challenges. ABCD
helps us to identify the neighborhood “treasures” or “gifts” that exist both in
the physical and social structure of our neighborhoods and within you and your
neighbors’ abilities and passions. After identifying those strengths, neighbors
can support each other by sharing their gifts to accomplish shared goals in the
neighborhoods. For example, do you know your neighbors talents and abilities?
What if they are an excellent pianist who would be willing to give free lessons
to neighborhood kids? What if they are a great artist and could lead the effort
to create a beautiful mural? Your neighbor may be hiding wonderful talents and
gifts that they could share to enhance the quality of life for everybody in your
neighborhood. What gifts, skills, talents and networks do you have that you
could share with your neighbors to create the neighborhood of your dreams?
For more information on ABCD, check out the ABCD Institute website: http://www.abcdinstitute.org/about/
Attending any of the planned Our Riverside Our Neighborhoods activities, gathering,
and events will help you to identify your own natural strengths, the assets of your
neighborhood, and help you to forge a path in making a difference in your community.
The Our Riverside Our Neighborhoods initiative gives every resident of Riverside, no
matter their age, race, income level, language, or education level, the ability to have
a voice in the process of neighborhood planning. You have the chance to make your voice
heard and to co-define the vision of your future neighborhood. In the process, you will
have the chance to get to know your neighbors, make new friends, have fun at the
neighborhood celebrations, and to truly make a difference in your life and the quality
of life for everybody in your neighborhood. You are invited to participate to whatever
degree that you would like, and we as City staff will make sure that your voice is heard
and that you have fun in the process.
Take a seat at the table that is defining the future of your neighborhood, if not you – then who?