Neighborhood Summit 2011

Representatives from City neighborhood associations, boards and commissions, 4-J School District and City staff and elected officials gathered at North Eugene High School on September 24 to spend the day engaging in stimulating discussion about grass roots democracy. This year’s theme, The Challenge and Promise of Neighborhood Democracy, set the stage for small and large group facilitated discussions on the roles of neighborhood associations and other City advisory bodies in local decision-making and what legitimacy and accountability looks like for all stakeholders involved.

The Summit was opened with a dynamic, inspiring keynote address by Jim Diers, former Director of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods that highlighted stories from around the world of residents coming together and effectively using their “neighbor power” to make positive changes in their communities. Hypothetical scenarios were presented to stimulate discussion on the actions and role of different stakeholders (staff, elected officials, neighborhood associations) in a decision making process.