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Old 11-09-2011, 07:43 PM
 
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After years of ranting and raving about my city's quality of life, and how I disliked it so, I finally realize that I don't have to be an urban planner or politician, or even a person with alot of clout and/or wealth to make a difference.

Some simple steps come to mind such as starting a new and exciting festival with the help of other people (especially through social media), voicing my opinions at city council meetings, or volunteering at organized clean-ups.

The question I pose today to all is, what kind of things have you done, are currently doing, or planning to do that will make you city, town, or village a better place to live, thus improving quality life for everyone where you live?
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:01 PM
 
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I live in an otherwise boring bedroom community suburb in middle America so I don't take so much pride enough to do anything to make my town's quality of life better. However if I ever do get to living in a big city like NYC one day I would try to help in many ways, in ways that wouldn't get me in trouble. I wouldn't be an activist because they have a lot of notoriety these days (like Occupy Wall Street), but I could help by spending my money mostly at local places that are non-chain local businesses. Even if that isn't helping directly, you're still doing the local community a favor by choosing to help them over an impersonal Walmart where most of the profits go back to a corporate center. By shopping at local stores, you help the community by keeping currently flowing in the local ecomomy rather than going in a black hole of a big corporation.
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Old 11-10-2011, 10:31 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,095,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rwarky View Post
After years of ranting and raving about my city's quality of life, and how I disliked it so, I finally realize that I don't have to be an urban planner or politician, or even a person with alot of clout and/or wealth to make a difference. Hooray! Now you gotta get others to see the light

Some simple steps come to mind such as starting a new and exciting festival with the help of other people (especially through social media), voicing my opinions at city council meetings, or volunteering at organized clean-ups. <--These

The question I pose today to all is, what kind of things have you done, are currently doing, or planning to do that will make you city, town, or village a better place to live, thus improving quality life for everyone where you live?
Social media dones't really have much impact in my neighborhood yet. Lots of older residents who don't have computers or only can do basic email. But we do it the "old fashioned way" - attractive flyers on light poles, word of mouth.

Neighborhood organziations can be a great tool if utilized properly. Even if the tone can get acrimonious (as in mine), it's good to get the people of the neighborhood together who are willing to work.

Un-organied trash cleanups are good too. A couple mornings a month I pick up litter around the neighborhood with a grabber-arm thing. It's appreciated. Our street is at the bottom of a hill so when it rains we get lots of junk.

A good example of community working together to solve quality of life issues: Someone backed up a pickup truck into the city park (which was overgrown for years before the neighborhood cleaned it up - another story of neighborhood action) behind my house last week and dumped a whole bunch of furniture and junk out the back. My neighbor's security camera got it in action, but we couldn't see the plate number. So we posted the video on our i-neighbors website. Two days later, a neighbor who had watched the video spotted the truck at a drive-thru and got the plate number.

We forwarded the video and plate number to the cops, who have now connected the truck and its owner to other illegal dumping and scavenging (for valuable wires and piping). Only a matter of time now before the cops arrest the guy.
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Old 11-10-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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In addition to participating in neighborhood groups and neighborhood cleanups, I am also in the process of restoring a house that is an eyesore, on a fairly heavily travelled street.
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Old 11-10-2011, 12:30 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,980 posts, read 102,527,356 times
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When my kids were in school, I/we both volunteered a lot in the schools and also with the recreation center. We went to council meetings to try to get improvements to the rec center. Haven't done so much lately.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,177 posts, read 21,010,558 times
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I volunteer. I helped start the Pueblo Gay Pride celebration and am on the board for the Southern Colorado Equality Alliance. I am, also, on the marketing committee for the Pueblo Economic Development Corporation and am a volunteer for the alumni organization at CSU Pueblo. One of my goals is to bring the two groups together and am the official liaison between them.

I am a member of the Sangre De Cristo Art Center and do what I can to help the arts in Pueblo as I feel a thriving art community is necessary for a town to be a city.

My long term goal is to be on the city council and possibly run to for state office. However given how nasty national politics has become I have no desire to run for office on the national stage.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:37 AM
 
6,056 posts, read 10,837,768 times
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Great thread subject! There are many distinct and specific ways people can improve the cities they live in quality of life.
For the past 3 years, personally, I support my favorite independent cafes and restaurants in my favorite neighborhoods, and my favorite supermarkets.
It is great for people to economically support the best commercial establishments whenever they can.
I also support some great cultural events in the cities I lived in, and it is great for those cultural events to get money from other people, and having people attending them.
I also make sure to be an intelligent, fun, healthy lifestyle citizen, that is friendly for the cities I lived in.
In the future, I would like to volunteer at some places in the community too.
I also think what I plan to study in college is something that can be beneficial to communities.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:07 AM
 
8,328 posts, read 14,554,265 times
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I'm on the board of my neighborhood association and a couple of nonprofits. Volunteered for assorted trash clean-ups, holiday decorations, picnics and other community events. Led walks of neighborhoods based on Jane Jacobs' "Death and Life of Great American Cities" planning principles. Showed up at plenty of city council and commission meetings, written letters, met one-on-one with council members. Shop locally where I can, and spend a lot of time just walking around noticing stuff. Have a monthly potluck group with some neighbors. Work with local arts/music groups to put on cultural events in the neighborhood. Write articles and books about my city's history, culture and future plans. And do a bit of ad-hoc civic boosterism on City-Data!
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:24 AM
 
Location: Southern California
15,087 posts, read 17,554,290 times
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I mowed and watered my neighbor's lawn after the banks foreclosed on her and she moved out.

[luckily her lawn was only about 400 square feet ]
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,164 posts, read 29,645,043 times
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I try to shop/eat/spend locally as much as possible. I also try to visit other neighborhoods.

In my city, downtown is an up and coming area. I live in one of the more established, areas of town, so my commercial district is a destination, and downtown is less so.

I also try to attend all meetings on community development to hopefully drown out some of the NIMBYs.
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