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Metro Newsroom

Mayor Takes Government ‘Into the Neighborhood’ With New Outreach Team

Wednesday November 2, 2005

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced that citizens can be more connected to government through a new team created within the Louisville Metro Department of Neighborhoods. Called Neighborhood Outreach Liaisons, the five-person team will empower neighborhoods with an array of community-building tools.

“These individuals will be an invaluable resource for our citizens,” Abramson said. “By implementing outreach programs at the neighborhood level, our residents will become empowered to make Louisville a safe, strong and vibrant hometown.”

Each Neighborhood Liaison will cover one of five areas, designated as the Central, Western, West Central, Southeastern and Northeastern territories. The areas generally run north to south and fan out to include both urban and suburban areas.
The Neighborhood Liaisons’ primary purpose is to connect the community with government and make government more accessible. Outreach programs include:
· Assisting residents to start or rejuvenate neighborhood, homeowner or condominium associations.

· Connecting neighborhood groups with business associations to work on common issues in neighborhoods.

· Helping neighborhood groups participate in the Neighborhood Assessment program. Neighborhood Assessments are studies of a neighborhood’s demographic, economic and land-use composition to provide a better understanding of an area’s strengths, challenges and opportunities. Assessments create a set of goals with an action plan for neighborhoods.

· Providing connections between residents and government services such as MetroCall 311 and/or explain how the Inspections, Permits and Licensing Department works. The liaisons will go door-to-door to meet with neighbors and promote programs and events, and listen to residents about area concerns.

· Coordinating training. The Department of Neighborhoods offers a number of programs to assist neighborhood leaders, such as conflict-resolution workshops and bylaws training for neighborhood associations. The department also coordinates the annual Mayor’s Neighborhood Summit.

In addition the Neighborhood Outreach Liaisons will receive professional certification as community builders through the national NeighborWorks America program. NeighborWorks America is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts.
“NeighborWorks is proud to partner with Louisville Metro Government to provide high-level training to this new outreach team. We know of no other city in the U.S. that requires their entire outreach team to receive a professional certification through NeighborWorks. This is a true commitment to excellence and will set a high example of professionalism in delivery of governmental service,” said Melvyn Colon, manager for community building and organizing for NeighborWorks America, located in Boston.

In preparing for this new role, the five Neighborhood Outreach Liaisons have spent the past three months interacting with more than 100 neighborhood groups across the city.
The Louisville Metro Department of Neighborhoods builds strong neighborhoods block-by-block. The department works to develop and strengthen neighborhood associations, create safe and beautiful communities and offers year-round training to empower our neighborhood leaders. This agency houses the divisions of Brightside, Community Outreach, Office of International Affairs, MetroCall and the Mayor's Special Events Office – working in unison to create a vibrant Louisville.

To contact a Neighborhood Outreach Liaison, call the Department of Neighborhoods, at 574-3380. View background on each Neighborhood Outreach Liaison and their territories here.