Dear Members, Merchants and Friends:
According to Wikipedia, a neighborhood association is “a group of neighbors and business owners who work together for changes and improvements such as neighborhood safety, beautification and social activities. They reinforce rules and regulations through education, peer pressure and by looking out for each other.”
There is a lot to unpack in those two sentences, and drilling down into the questions of “What is Russian Hill Neighbors? Why should I join? Why do I belong?” were part of the discussions that took place at RHN’s recent Annual Board Retreat.
In the face of the serious and widespread issues facing our city the likes of homelessness, crime, dirty streets and sidewalks, it can be challenging for an individual neighborhood or group of neighbors to make a measurable and positive difference. However, the above definition suggests some possibilities by highlighting the value of education, peer pressure and “looking out for each other”.
These are core activities of RHN. Through our website, e-newsletters and special meetings, we provide information about important issues and concerns that affect our neighborhood. Information enables action. If you have not done so recently, take a tour through RHN’s website, and explore the resources it provides from “How To File a Police Report” to walking tours of Russian Hill’s historic districts.
Peer pressure is most effective when it is positive. We can all take advantage of opportunities to invite a friend to join us at a street sweep, park clean-up, public hearing or social event. Belonging to RHN can facilitate those opportunities and more.
To “look after each other” we need to know each other. RHN sponsors many ways to meet your neighbors – from varied social events to serving on committees formed for a specific purpose. We can also work with the residents of our own block or building to create an emergency preparedness plan. In the case of a disaster, we have been warned that we will likely need to rely solely on each other and our own resources for several days or longer. Have you created your personal emergency plan? Do others on your block know that a child or pet may be alone in your home if a disaster occurs? Who on your block is elderly or disabled and will need assistance? Do you know who on your block is NERT (Neighborhood Emergency Response Team) trained ?
Pete Seeger tells us, “I think the world is going to be saved by millions of small things.” Join RHN in working daily on many small things on behalf of our neighborhood.
Carol Ann Rogers
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