HRNI: Is City policy failing neighborhoods?3 min read
HRNI asks: Is the NORP getting in the way of rebooting neighborhood associations?
[00:00:06] Robert Brack: The NORP is the Neighborhood Organization Recognition Policy and that’s the official kind of code or charter language for the City to identify neighborhood associations.
[00:00:18] Right now, there’s 9,000 resident addresses that are currently not represented by neighborhood associations… those long-standing neighborhood associations that have had trouble activating over the years and… they don’t have that same kind of access to neighborhood associations as other areas of town. And so we want to start the process of just looking at how can we address this, and if anybody in this group would like to serve in an advisory role. We’re looking for, like, four to five people to help us with creating that process of, what engaging the associations and the community in those reviews are.
[00:00:55] …My goal is actually to reach out to neighborhood leaders in those inactive areas and see if we can also get them to serve in this advisory panel too, to see if there are things in the NORP that are restricting neighborhoods from forming or to help make that easier for associations to stay active.
[00:01:15] John Q: The project’s title is, The Neighborhood Boundary Project.
[00:01:20] Robert Brack: The neighborhood boundary project that HRNI staff is moving forward with, this project is about reviewing the NORP and also giving the opportunity for neighborhoods to look at their boundaries in relation to what some of the policies and procedures are around the NORP.
[00:01:40] John Q: One NLC member asked, why not invite all neighborhoods to discuss boundary changes? Robert said that was not the intent.
[00:01:47] Robert Brack: I know that some neighborhoods hear things like ‘boundary project’ and say, ‘Don’t change my boundaries’ and ‘We don’t want to change our boundaries.’ And that’s not what this project is about.
[00:01:56] …We’re looking at this being a short term project, mostly because again, I’m still in my AIC (Acting In Capacity) role that lasts for another six to seven months or so. And so this is meant to be a quick project.
[00:02:06] And again, HRNI, we don’t I have no idea where this is work is going to go. And it’s really kind of just starting that process of how do we help support these residents that just don’t have the same amount of access and see if we can figure that out as a group, as other neighborhood leaders.
[00:02:21] So I would venture to say it would start probably in the next couple of weeks, I would try to get the advisory team together and really hit the ground running, trying to work on what our steps are. And there’s some documents that I’m going to be sending out to all of your neighborhood leaders, and so you’ll see the project overview and timelines and what we’re trying to hope to accomplish. So you’ll get more of that information pretty soon, but just wanted to give you all a heads up in this meeting.
[00:02:48] John Q: Robert was asked about the neighborhood reactivation meeting in West Eugene.
[00:02:52] Robert Brack: Thanks, Ted. We have done a reactivation like community meeting in the West Eugene and Far West area right now. We just recently did that last week and it was very well attended. It was mostly attended by Far West neighbors. There were some people in West Eugene that also attended, which was great. And we had about 60 people total in attendance. So that was great and really encouraging.
[00:03:16] John Q: Neighborhood leaders can also help with an upcoming training event.
[00:03:20] Robert Brack: We are still planning to do a “Neighborhoods 101” event, and that’ll go out to all the neighborhoods to participate. And we’ll probably actually even be putting that out to neighborhood leaders to help teach some parts of those introductory classes and help support other neighborhood association boards.
[00:03:37] John Q: The City hits the ground running on The Neighborhood Boundary Project. For more, contact your local neighborhood association, or the City of Eugene HRNI office.