Everything Bremerton: Connecting the dots for community
By COLLEEN SMIDT
Bremerton Patriot Community Columnist
May 26, 2011 · Updated 11:21 AM
This past week I had the pleasure of attending a community workshop called Activate Bremerton. These events are put together by an organization called Community Frameworks. For two more Thursdays, May 26 and June 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., these workshops, held at Olympic College, will go on to assist and empower those interested in connecting the existing dots within their own community.
Connecting the dots, you say? What does that mean? What it means is every community has resources available, both public and private, to improve or assist that community. Many community members know that they want a better neighborhood, or school district, or more businesses opportunities, or better public amenities, but many community members do not know how to go about achieving these things either individually or as a group.
Community building organizations, such as Community Frameworks explain the “how” and provide the understanding of basic tools that can be used to achieve mutually desired community improvement goals.
At last week’s meeting, a rather diverse group of individuals attended. We learned the step-by-step process of mission building and vision attainment, as well as how to do it ourselves and also how to recognize the success or failure of this same process in other organizations we may or may not choose to work with.
I would openly encourage interested citizens, business owners and residents of Bremerton to attend the next two sessions. The May 26 session will be about maintaining effective meetings and the June 9 session will be about learning to leverage and share resources.
The importance of attending a community building event such as this really hit home for me after something I learned at a recent City Council-hosted meeting during a discussion regarding the reduction of the Council from nine to seven members. The historic reason that Bremerton has nine city council positions instead of the seven that most city’s our size have, came from the fact that when the system we have today of a mayor and a council was implemented, there were nine active and established neighborhood associations. Nine regions of the city, with nine groups of involved participating citizens.
Learning about the nine neighborhood groups of years past revealed to me that the recent revival of the neighborhood group structure such as those in Manette, Union Hill and Charleston is actually not about creating something new within our community, but in reality working to get back something very important that we lost along the way. Come to the next two Activate Bremerton workshops if you can. Let’s connect some of Bremerton’s dots and maybe even create some new ones.
Student Center Conference Room
1600 Chester Avenue