(Norwood Together, November Release) As the end of the year comes to a close, Norwood Together takes a look at the Norwood Community Councils’ growth and showcases how vital these community meetings can be. The council meetings aim to connect residents with their representatives and to make the Norwood leadership accessible. Demystifying the people in charge opens up more comfortable conversations where residents feel their voice is being heard.
The Community Council meetings arose from this very need, as residents expressed through the Norwood quality of life survey that they felt disconnected and unheard. The council meetings started in ward one in 2019 but grew as the need for connection grew. Now all four wards organize a council meeting. Other than connecting with representatives, the meetings have speakers from all aspects of the community, including the health department, Norwood’s recycling program, the police and fire department, as well as members of the school board.
Norwood Community Council meetings are an opportunity to voice excitements and concerns in the city while spending time socializing and meeting neighbors as well as city representatives. The goal of the council meetings is to make residents feel more informed about Norwood. Sara Lehew of the Community Council points out that in Ward 1 in particular, “We have been represented by council members from the Democratic and the Republican parties, and no matter what their political affiliation, the council members for Ward 1 have strongly supported the meetings and the info-sharing that is a main goal of the group.” Lehew says that the group strives to “help mitigate the feelings of uncertainty and negativity in residents by ensuring that information is shared with as many people as possible and comes directly from our elected leaders.”
Due to the pandemic community council meetings were put on hold but resumed in March of 2021 with a dedication to continue connecting residents to the services and leaders across our city and a strong push from Norwood Together. The Community Council meetings will resume in March of 2022 once again.
“We’re excited to hit the ground running in 2022 with more of a unified plan and predictable agendas”, said Alisha Loch, one of the Norwood Community Council organizers. “It’s our goal to be even more problem solving; we’ve dabbled with this by getting residents the answers they need or connecting them with the right person to address their issues, but would like to dig even deeper in creating grassroots solutions to each wards’ concerns.”
Follow the Norwood Community Council Facebook for more updates and meeting locations as we approach 2022.