The first Tuesday of each August is when local neighborhoods along with over 10,000 cities across the nation take part in the Annual National Night Out. Families are asked to turn on their porch light, light up the night and to say “Good Bye” to crime. The local celebration involves a caravan of vehicles filled with government officials, law enforcement officials, civic groups representatives, social service organization staff members and public service officials that travel through the city stopping at various organized neighborhood celebrations. Caravan participants meet with those gathered in each neighborhood event. Participants share with the neighbors in their own neighborhoods and meet and share information with all participants. This is a “going away party for crime” to let the criminals know the residents are taking back their streets. The goal as “McGruff” the Crime Dogs says, is to “Take a Bite out of Crime.”
The Christmas Parade is also a fun activity to promote the neighborhoods and their contribution to “healthy family life” in their neighborhood. This is a chance for the neighborhood residents to show their pride in the way their neighborhood promotes family life along with improving the way families come together to share their challenges and successes with other families in their area. The floats in this parade could possible show an example of “An Old Fashioned Christmas” or a special way a family celebrates Christmas according to their own developed tradition. This is also another way neighborhoods are coming together to show how important healthy unity in the family is important to a healthy city.
The Regional Neighborhood Network Conference was spawned as a regional network after the Neighborhoods U.S.A. conference in 1986. The network consists of 20 member cities in five states; Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. Each member city appoints one representative to the RNNC steering committee, responsible for assisting with the planning of the conference each fall. Regional Neighborhood Network Conferences draw between 400 and 500 neighborhood representatives, elected officials, city officials, business persons, and persons from a wide variety of backgrounds each year. Costs to the attendees are kept to a minimum in order to allow as many neighborhood representatives as possible to attend. Neighborhood representatives participate in: an opening welcome reception on Thursday evening; a day-long series of workshop sessions presented by professionals from all five states on Friday; Neighborhood bus tours of the host city on Friday evening; an early Saturday morning session; experience the motivation of three keynote speakers; and have ample time to network with each other to learn about a variety of innovative programs and topics from other cities. With the purpose of taking these ideas back to their home city to utilize the innovations in a way that best suite their own neighborhoods.
Programs & Activities