27 Jun 2014

City of Neighborhoods tomorrow: Jazz, dancing, learning, discussion and story-telling.

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It’s finally here! City of Neighborhoods 2014 at the University of Puget Sound promises to be an event to remember. Attendees, who will pack out the Rotunda in the Wheelock Student Center, will be dazzled with a day full of learning and fun. From the opening performance of a Filipino dance troupe to the end of the day celebration (complete with a talented jazz trio), participants won’t remember the last time they had so much fun learning and being inspired. Read more

25 Jun 2014

The inaugural Elton Gatewood Neighborhood Builder Award to be presented at City of Neighborhoods on Saturday

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On Saturday Former Mayor Bill Baarsma and the City of Neighborhoods planning team will be awarding the inaugural Elton Gatewood Neighborhood Builder award to none other than Elton Gatewood, himself. The award honors a 37-year career of arguably the most dedicated servant to Tacoma’s neighborhoods in our history. Be present at the 3rd annual City of Neighborhoods Conference to witness what we hope will become a great tradition of honoring Tacoma’s neighborhood heroes. Read more

24 Jun 2014

The Power of Story: A City of Neighborhoods Feature

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In the first half of the twentieth century, many athletes had come to believe that running a mile in under four minutes was a physical impossibility. This belief was prevalent even though many athletes desired to break that barrier. Some tried and failed but nobody could do it.

Finally, as history tells it, the English medical student Roger Bannister became the first person to break the barrier on May, 6th 1954. The next year 20 more people broke it. Read more

23 Jun 2014

The Future of Tacoma’s Neighborhoods: a City of Neighborhoods panel discussion

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There’s a lot of energy coming into the the main event Saturday! The City of Neighborhoods planning committee has been encouraged by all the enthusiasm we’re hearing from the community.

We’ve added a panel discussion to follow former Tacoma mayor Bill Baarsma’s talk on the history and future of Tacoma’s neighborhood councils. The panel will feature Bill, as well as Shalisa Hayes, founder of the Billy Ray Foundation, and Marguerite Giguere, experienced realtor and longtime Tacomaphile. All three are neighborhood people, through and through.

They will be discussing the future of Tacoma’s neighborhoods (in general, not just the neighborhood councils). A Q & A session will follow. Read more

20 Jun 2014

One reason not to miss City of Neighborhoods 2014

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For those at City of Neighborhoods in the past, no introduction is needed for Jim Diers. You folks are the reason he is back for another round. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about Jim’s presence at past events. And, in all honesty, few people have the experience, insight and charisma in community development that Jim has. It would take a lot of keynote presentations for Jim to run out of stories and insight to share. Read more

19 Jun 2014

Former Mayor, Bill Baarsma, to Speak at City of Neighborhoods

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Former Tacoma mayor, Bill Baarsma, will be one of the featured speakers at City of Neighborhoods. He will be speaking on the history and future of Tacoma’s neighborhood councils. He will also be presenting the inaugural Elton Gatewood Neighborhood Builder Award and partaking in a panel on the general future of Tacoma’s neighborhoods. Read more

19 Jun 2014

How the Whitman Neighbors care for teens

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City of Neighborhoods keynote, Jim Diers, points out the difference between agencies and neighbors when it comes to doing good work in our neighborhoods. Agencies have a lot of power and resources, but, no matter how authentic someone is, there is something that is lost when care and service is someone’s profession. Pound-for-pound, “neighbor power” (as Jim puts it) not only has the potential to get lots of projects done in a neighborhood, it also can be a lot more personal and ends up cultivating strong neighborly relationships. Our next Small is Beautiful story comes to us from the Whitman Neighborhood in the Lincoln District. It’s amazing what can happen when neighbors aren’t content to leave loving and caring for people to agencies. Those groups have powerful roles to play but ultimately should be supports to the day-to-day care given by neighbors themselves. Read more

18 Jun 2014

Filipino Flavor: the story of the Barangay neighborhood project

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On Friday I had the good fortune to meet two lovely ladies, Elena and Claire, from the Barangay Community Garden located near South 42nd and Alaska. Barangay (pronounced “Bah-run-gai”) is Filipino for “neighborhood.” During my time with them, the two Filipino women shared their vision for their project and showed me the literal fruit of their progress. It was more fun than one should typically have hanging out next to the sound barrier of the I-5 corridor. Read more

18 Jun 2014

The best approach to making your Tacoma neighborhood all it can be.

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Over the years well-known community organizers have come to realize there is one approach to community development that is more effective and sustainable than all the rest.  The approach is called “Asset-based Community Development” (ABCD) and it’s a cornerstone to the City of Neighborhoods conference. But it’s also a counter-intuitive idea for many of us at first so, whenever we can, we preach the benefits of ABCD. Our first keynote, Jim Diers, is a world-famous leader of the ABCD school so you’ll learn much more about next Saturday at the event. But, as a teaser, here’s a quick survey of ABCD Read more

16 Jun 2014

2014 City of Neighborhoods Schedule

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City of Neighborhoods is just around the corner and we’re releasing the schedule to make sure you’re as excited as we are! This is the third year of the day-long conference and celebration. This year we focused on making it an even more fun event. Come dance, mix, brainstorm and then get ready to take over the world… or at least inject your neighborhood with life, creative energy and stronger relational ties. Don’t be surprised by how much you learn while having so much fun, though. The speakers, stories, and best practices shared are some of the best in the region, and even the world. Read more