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RNA News

The Riverwest Neighborhood Association (RNA) met Tuesday, July 16, and much of the meeting was spent discussing how to respond to the city’s proposed cuts in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for neighborhood organizations (see article on page 4). Members decided as many people as possible needed to attend meetings to speak out against the city’s efforts to use community organizing money for its own programs. Members also discussed and approved a proposal from Brad Montgomery for a volunteer job description of a coordinator of Riverwest Initiative for a Safe Environment (RISE). Some elements of the position would include organizing and facilitating monthly meetings with police officers, organizing two large community meetings per year, attending local and city crime meetings, organizing block club captains, writing a monthly article for the Riverwest Currents highlighting safety tips and concerns, distributing the Currents, and recruiting members to staff a RISE committee, among other things. Some residents pointed out that Montgomery’s description sounded like a full time job, and it was noted that in the future, it might be possible to secure funding to grow the position into apart or full-time job. The meeting ended with a discussion of setting up a Sixth District neighborhood forum to discuss what different neighborhoods in the district see as issues of concern. The goal of the discussions is to think ahead towards the 2004 aldermanic elections. The forum is tentatively scheduled for the third Tuesday in September. The Riverwest Neighborhood Association is open to all residents–“those who lay their head on a pillow in the Riverwest neighborhood.” The RISE subcommittee is also open to business and property owners who live outside the neighborhood. RNA meets the third Tuesday of each month. The August 20 meeting begins at 7 p.m. and will be held in the small conference room at the Gordon Park Pavilion.