From Lone Advocate to Thriving Tribe: How to Start Your Own Neighborhood Association

Want to better your community but don’t know where to start? Enter It’s the Little Things: a new, weekly Strong Towns podcast that gives you the wisdom and encouragement you need to take the small yet powerful actions that can make your city or town stronger.

It’s the Little Things will feature Strong Towns Community Builder Jacob Moses in conversation with various guests who have taken action in their own places and in their own ways.

Picture this: you’re at a council meeting where you learn that the City is considering a road-widening project in your neighborhood. You’re displeased—and rightfully so. The proposed expansion is where you walk your dog, ride your bike, and cross for ice cream at the local corner store.

So you post on Facebook. You call your councilperson. And you speak at the council meetings. Your efforts are well-intentioned, but you’re confronting a sobering truth: It’s hard to be heard without a collective voice backing you up.

Enter the neighborhood association: a group of people with whom you share geography and, undoubtedly, the joys and trials of the neighborhood. Your neighbors are likely different than you—different ages, different skills. But here’s the best part. Despite your differences, you all have the same goal: to make your neighborhood better.

That’s where neighborhood associations shine: you’re no longer the lone advocate. You have a collective voice—your neighbors—who are equally enthusiastic to advocate for your neighborhood, during both the joyful times and the trying ones.

In this episode, I chat with Glen Farris—President of the Denton Main Street Association and founder of the Denton Downtowners Association—where he discusses:

  • why you should start a neighborhood association

  • how to encourage people to join

  • how the association can make a real impact in your neighborhood

You don’t need a fancy name or website; instead, as you’ll learn from Glen, all you need is a mission and the willingness to share it—one neighbor at a time.

For these and many more insights, check out It’s The Little Things: our new podcast by our Community Builder, Jacob Moses.

(Top photo via flickr.)