Forum Activity for @ron-dwyer-voss

Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
03/08/18 10:02:50AM
47 posts

Lodi uses its assets and youth leadership to transform a corner


ABCD and Youth

 Check out @instlocgov video highlighting @cityoflodi @ChamberLodi #ABCD #LoveYourBlock.  Learn how local residents used their assets to turn a blighted corner into green space w/ a mural designed by local youth Jose Gomez. Love Your Block Video

Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
04/12/12 01:55:13PM
47 posts

Examples of using online tools for community building


Tips, Tools, Strategies, and Technology

Here is an interesting use of social media to support but not supplant in person community building.

Found this at http://grist.org/cities/facebook-for-cities-a-social-network-for-neighborhood-improvement/" target="_blank">grist.org

Facebook for cities: A social network for building better neighborhoods

One New Orleans resident wants better streets.

What would you do if you had a million bucks to make your neighborhood better? Turn the vacant building up the street into a healthy corner store with cross-cultural appeal? Fund 24-hour bus service? Paint giant flowers on the asphalt in every intersection?

What if there was a tool that made it easy for you share your idea with neighbors, community groups, city planners people who could pitch in to make it a reality?

Thats the idea behind Neighborland, a sort of collective online urban planning platform that grew from a project started by artist Candy Chang in 2010. Chang slapped nametag-style stickers reading I WISH THIS WAS ___ on abandoned buildings around New Orleans. People answered by filling in the blanks with all sorts of things theyd like to see in their neighborhoods: a grocery store, a row of trees, a bakery to which someone else responded, If you can get the financing, I will do the baking!

People were trying to talk to each other, says Alan Williams, Neighborlands director of community, who met with me on a rainy day in New Orleans two weeks ago to show me some of the groups work. What if [the conversation] wasnt lost to time? What if people could share knowledge and expertise?

Neighborland allows the kind of organic conversations started by the stickers to happen online, where they can build momentum and facilitate connections. Neighborland users (there are a core group of them who engage regularly, Williams said) post what they want for the city overall or for a specific neighborhood, and others can click me too or comment. Ideas can be sorted by most recent or most popular. Suggestions range from the general (I want more food trucks in New Orleans) to the specific (I want an African-American bookstore at the Historic LaSalle Corridor), from the heavy (I want zero tolerance gun laws in New Orleans) to the whimsical (I want a recycled glass monument to our lack of glass recycling).

Neighborland's online platform (click to enlarge).

Other online idea-sharing tools like this already exist, of course, and Neighborland has aspects in common with each of them. Theres Mindmixer, a virtual town hall; Change by Us, where citizens can propose projects and connect with others who want to work on them; and Ioby, sort of a sustainability-focused Kickstarter.

Whats different about Neighborland is were trying to build support for existing ecosystems, Williams says. We didnt want to create a separate community, we wanted to provide a tool for the existing community. For almost every idea someone has about their neighborhood, somebodys already working to make that change happen. Neighborland serves as a forum to collect those ideas and, with Williams help, direct them to the people with the power to make them reality.

For example, one popular idea among Neighborland users was making the GPS data maintained by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) open to the public, to make it possible to create apps showing when the next bus or train will arrive, like the Bay Areas NextBus or Seattles OneBusAway. So Neighborland contacted a community group called Transport for NOLA, which already had the tools and organization to help successfully advocate with RTA. Transport for NOLA is also supporting RTAs efforts to apply for federal funding to extend a new streetcar line the most popular idea on the Neighborland site, Williams says. And the enthusiasm for this improvement, shown on Neighborland, got the attention and support of the city councilmember who represents the affected neighborhoods, so she can now add her leverage to the campaign.

Public officials have a lot of competing demands for their attention, Williams said. Not only does Neighborland show what people want, it shows their priorities. Its providing value to all community leaders.

Its the job of elected officials to listen to their constituents. But Neighborland makes it easier for citizens to add their voices to an ongoing conversation. Its as simple as seeing someone elses idea and clicking a button that says me too similar to a Facebook like. The platform provides a concrete, but continuously evolving, record of the needs and desires residents have for their neighborhoods.

You shouldnt have to be able to go to public meetings and do time-intensive things to have a voice, Williams says.

Nor should you have to be online. Neighborland stays true to its street-art roots by recognizing that public spaces are important venues for communication, especially for citizens who arent as web-savvy. Its staff, sponsors, and community partners helped spread the word about the site through physical installations at New Orleans many festivals and street fairs, distributing stickers with the web address on the bottom. Were still working to get people who dont use the internet regularly for community activism to see it as an everyday tool, Williams said.

Neighbors share ideas at one of Neighborland's physical installations.

Neighborland still maintains a physical presence around town. A sign in the window of a building called the Saratoga in New Orleans Central Business District asks people waiting at the bus stop outside to text their ideas for the spot to a certain number. Williams asks if I have any ideas and I come up with cooling fans for the bus stop the southern alternative, I figure, to heat lamps, always a godsend at Chicagos L stops in the winter. I text the number and, a minute later, theres my idea on the site, among dozens of others people outside the Saratoga have texted over the months: a falafel joint, a hair salon, a small venue for teens & young adults, and a 24-hour bodega that sells cat food, scotch tape, flowers, coffee, and egg & cheese sandwiches.

It makes sense that an idea like Neighborland would have been born in New Orleans, a city whose palpable creative energy and funky charm can distract visitors from structural breakdowns like a lack of municipal recycling, still frequently flooded streets, and a murder rate at least 10 times the national average. In New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina discredited the status quo, as Williams put it, meaning people understood we couldnt go back to the way things were. People in New Orleans are more willing to try new things.

Now Neighborland is expanding to other cities: The site is live in Boulder, Colo., and testing in Houston, with plans for a national rollout. Even without dedicated staff yet beyond New Orleans, the model seems to be working in other locations. In Houston, Williams said, someone said they wanted a particular intersection to be safer for bikes. A traffic engineer who saw the idea was able to change the timing of the stoplight there.

Williams acknowledges that the changes Neighborland has spawned so far dont constitute a dramatic overhaul of the citys infrastructure. But in some ways, thats the point collaborative, community-level urban planning may be incremental, but this tactical urbanism responds directly to what people are asking for. We think theres a lot of value to being tactical, Williams said. Were doing something that may be temporary, maybe its just a small gesture, but youre showing things can be different. Were focused on making these small but important changes add up.

Claire Thompson is an editorial assistant at Grist.

April Doner
@ron-dwyer-voss
12/07/11 04:03:33PM
54 posts

Youth/Cross-Age Connection... and culture! Your thoughts?


ABCD and Youth

Hi all!

The other day I was inspired to share some thoughts on youth/intergenerational connection in community. It was sparked by listening to a song I love by The Flobots. Please let me know what you think!

Not sure if I should post the whole blog here, or just the link -- well, I'll post the link:

"Youthful Musings"

Might be best if you comment in the blog itself, so anyone else coming in from elsewhere can be part of the conversation.

Love!!

-April


updated by @ron-dwyer-voss: 10/25/16 01:06:45PM
Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
02/08/11 10:30:31PM
47 posts

Youth Organizing and Youth Development


ABCD and Youth

Youth%20as%20change%20agents%20YD2.docx

This piece provides a handy one page list of the research proven impacts of youth organizing and social justice youth organizing. The research is clear in both cases that many of the goals of healthy and vibrant youth development are best accomplished when youth are engaged in organizing.

What do you think?


updated by @ron-dwyer-voss: 10/25/16 01:06:45PM
Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
10/12/11 09:04:28AM
47 posts

Youth Organizing and Social Justice


ABCD and Youth

Hey April! Check out the youth voices blog in Myesha Williams' post below. It would be fascinating and probably empowering for participants in the mural project to share their experiences throughout the process.
Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
10/12/11 09:03:12AM
47 posts

Youth Organizing and Social Justice


ABCD and Youth

Great stuff Myesha! I really like the blog.Especially like their reflections on their experience testifying at Air Resources Board? What impact do you think their participation had on them, now that it is a year later?

Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
10/10/11 03:56:10PM
47 posts

Youth Organizing and Social Justice


ABCD and Youth

Social Justice Youth Organizing develops youth by seeing them not only as assets but also as actors capable of transforming their own environments, especially repressive aspects of their environment, and not simply developing resiliency & resistance to it. It emphasizes the importance of fostering young peoples ability to understand and act upon the larger social forces that affect their lives and their communities. The results of this type of youth organizing are powerful

  • Youth transform relationships in the community by sharing power with adults.
  • Development of pride in self-identity/life-purpose; ability to identify with others with similar interests.
  • Development of sense of belonging to something bigger than self.
  • Refraining from behaviors that contribute to oppression of others (from use of slurs to buying sweatshop shoes).
  • Capacity to change and involve oneself in transformation of self and community.
  • Development of recruitment, strategic planning and communication skills.
  • Enhanced awareness of and ability to cultivate personal safety.
  • Increased access to the networks, ideas and experiences that build individual and collective capacity to pursue social justice

So what is happening in your community that is developing youth, and the community, in this way? What youth work activities might be transformed into more powerful social justice youth organizing work? What is in the way of that happening?

This conclusion come from summaries of research by Ginwright and Erbstein.


updated by @ron-dwyer-voss: 04/29/19 11:47:47PM
Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
01/07/10 12:20:12PM
47 posts

Youth - problem to be fixed or resource to be engaged?


ABCD and Youth

Are youth a societal problem to be fixed or a resource to be engaged?Most people answer the later, even if just to duck an argument, be politically correct or avoid having to discuss "how to fix"...until you go to the editorial pages of local and major newspapers where youth are described as "dropping out," "at risk," "disengaged," "not taking advantage of the education provided," and any number of code words for PROBLEM.During my years on a school board I noticed a phenomena that researchers have confirmed over and over again. Most people believe that the schools in their neighborhood are good and the kids there are good, with lots of potential. They also believe the school system is falling apart and kids in other areas are failing and/or being failed. In other words, we are prone to see the assets and resources of those closest to our experience. A no-brainer when you think about it.So then, how do we discover and engage the assets of those that are not part of our immediate experience. Most of the time we don't. This is just the reality of busy lives and limited time to build relationships within our nearby sphere of people, not to mention those beyond that sphere. I contend that we can discover and engage the assets of those that are not part of our immediate experience by being more aware and intentional about connecting to those near us - because often the "them" are among "us."Harvey Milk new this. Milk was activist San Francisco city council member whose life was tragically cut short and well documented in the award winning movie "Milk." Milk had an aggressive agenda to end discrimination and increase rights for gay and lesbian people. His primary strategy was to encourage gay and lesbian people to "come out of the closet." The theory went, if people knew that their neighbor, accountant, favorite grocery clerk, co-worker, etc. was gay, they would see discrimination and rights more personally, and their fear would be alleviated by realizing that "they" are among "us."The same strategy hold true for youth. We all know young people - either neighbors, relatives, interns, subway sandwich makers, our kids' friends or our friends' kids. But do we know the "at risk" youth? Yes! Do we know it? Probably not. How would are view of foster youth change if our community organizations and associations took the time to develop relationships with the foster youth in our community, and their foster families. What would happen if communities embraced and provided stability for the families that foster and the young people whose life circumstances have led them to a life of "temporary home?"I don't know the whole answer to that, but I know one thing. Our communities would benefit from the gifts, knowledge, enthusiasm, resilience and assets of these young people. And as we receive their gifts, they become valued and we engage them in the web of relationships that is a neighborhood or community and soon "they" and "we" are "us."What is your community missing by not intentionally engaging the youth who also happen to live in a foster home or group home? There is a treasure chest there - how will you open it?
updated by @ron-dwyer-voss: 04/25/19 04:07:42AM
Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
02/10/10 10:04:10AM
47 posts

Whose connecting who?


ABCD and Youth

Here is the link to the online "video map" that the youth of West Sacramento did as part of their Youth Voices project.http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=106304365780932181125...
Ron Dwyer-Voss
@ron-dwyer-voss
02/05/10 12:18:33PM
47 posts

Whose connecting who?


ABCD and Youth

That is, more or less, what the youth did from a youth perspective - and captured in the videos on their google map and included in their comic book. You are right that the charette "outreach" should involve those two activities to recruit folks to the charette.Peter Eckart said:
Call me crazy, but how about these two cutting-edge, digital-age ideas?

+ Interested organizer hang out in parks and talk to the people who use it now.
+ Interested organizers go door to door in the neighborhood surrounding the park and talk to the folks most likely to use it if it reflected their interests.

I know it doesn't involve a computer, so it's not as good as the ideas you suggested above ...
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