The Role of Civic Associations

iStock_000005911836SmallYou might think that you can’t make a difference or help change things in your community, but I’ve learned that this can’t be further from the truth.

Prior to moving to “The Fan” almost 20 years ago, I had never joined a Civic Association or thought that being involved could really make a difference…but I was mistaken.  Becoming an active civic member was the best thing I ever did.  It “fast tracked” me into meeting and making many of the friends I have today and afforded me the opportunity to be part of the continuing process of making my neighborhood the wonderful place it is to live in, work in, and play in.

Being Secretary of the Fan District Association and on the board of the West Grace Street Association enabled me to help introduce and affect changes important to both me and the other members of my neighborhood.   Traffic calming measures, which helped create more of a neighborhood feel and decreased the fears families felt in raising their children, helped provide stability to The Fan.  Providing input for ordinances which helped preserve some of the most beautiful  homes in the nation is also something I took great interest and pride in.  Being an advocate for Urban Business overlays on both Main and Broad Streets helped bring many small businesses to these areas to restore fabric to urban experience.  Also, engaging VCU in an effort to have a more complimentary influence on the neighborhood is both ongoing and incredibly important.

There are many reasons why people choose to live in an urban environment —  the interweaving of all sorts of places such as eateries, shops, places of worship, and of course the enjoyment of walking their children to school.  It is the job of any civic organization to help improve the experiences of those that seek to make the neighborhood their home.

Urban living is unique and rewarding!  It offers a diversity of people bringing  different backgrounds and walks of life, young and old,  varied economic levels, and supports an exciting entrepreneurial  spirit.  Residents who get involved in their city’s life come together as one to make their neighborhoods the best they can be.

Linda Urgo is an agent with One South Realty, has lived in many neighborhoods and a 20+ year resident of Richmond.