Bluff Park Neighborhood Association President Jeff Mallin brought together neighborhood associations on Sunday, December 4th in an effort to learn, strategize and develop stronger inter-association relationships. Participating Neighborhood Associations included Alamitos Heights Improvement Association, Alamitos Beach, Bluff Park, Bluff Heights, Belmont Heights and Rose Park Neighborhood. Attendees discussed the 2021 report entitled: “The Roles and Contributions of Neighborhood Associations Within the City of Long Beach,” produced by Melissa Matthews, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration in the Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration at California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Matthews provided attendees a brief overview of her research and findings via zoom. Access the Opinion Piece of Dr. Matthews HERE.
It was a night of team building and discussion around Dr. Matthew’s research which identified three main roles that neighborhood associations serve in their communities. Attendees identified their perceived success in each of these areas and outlined ideas for improvement. The three main themes included:
- Developing community and improving the neighborhood.
- Educating and engaging citizens.
- Representing and advocating for the neighborhood.
The need for building community, relationships and trust with ALL residents and local businesses emerged as an important action for the neighborhood associations to continue in 2023. Attendees also highlighted the need for the voices, participation and ideas of youth and resident volunteers.