It was a good turnout tonight at Asbury United Methodist Church for the 4th Ward introductory Neighborhood Action Sessions meeting. This was the second session hosted by Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. He will hold an introductory Neighborhood Action Sessions meeting in each of the city's 9 wards before Christmas.
Those who attended the 4th ward meeting were very engaged in the process. They asked good questions and identified a number of assets and opportunities in their community. Assets are those things in the community that add value. Washington Elementary School was one example several people gave. An opportunity is something in the community that could become an asset with a little TLC. One opportunity that many in the group sited is the vacant parking lots along Dort Highway that once held the cars of the thousands of AC Spark Plug and Delphi employees. One group from tonight's meeting said those lots would make good green spaces or community gardens. Another group thought the area would be great for erecting some basketball hoops for the youth.
That's what these Neighborhood Action Sessions meetings are supposed to do: spark discussion about assets we can build on in the community and opportunities where we can build assets.
One of the things I enjoy most about these sessions is the 15 minutes at the start of the meeting. This is the time we use to personally get to know each other and what in Flint makes us proud. Every person in the room stands up and introduces themselves and says 1 thing that they are proud of in the city of Flint.
I learned tonight that residents in the 4th ward are proud of their neighbors. They are proud of the leadership of Mayor Walling and most expressed pride in the spirit of the city and the residents.
Our next Neighborhood Action Sessions introductory ward meeting is October 28, 2009 in the 5th Ward at Job Corp on North Saginaw Street. It begins at 5:30. It would be great if it was a packed house. This is Our Flint: Strong and Proud, we need everyone to come out and participate in the process of positive change in our community.