AFTER TOWN MEETING WHAT HAPPENED
A representative selection of happenings
and events following Town Meeting:
MASPETH, QUEENS, NEW YORK CITY: Fifteen
community organizations are actively working together for the
first time in their history. They have created the United Organizations
of Maspeth to foster "responsible leadership directed towards
SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK: Citizens reacted
quickly to the community's concern over their dirty, dying Downtown
area. Twenty organizations held a Downtown Cleanup Day,
where citizens swept the streets, washed the windows, cleaned
out vacant storefronts, and put up public service displays in
the empty windows. One local merchant was so inspired that he
bought some paint and got the rusty old railroad bridge, which
runs through the center of town, repainted in bright blue and
red, with the insignia, "Welcome to Schnectady" emblazoned
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Residents followed
up their Town Meeting by filling potholes in the neighborhood
streets as part of a Cleanup Campaign.
SOUTH END HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT: A Community
Visitation Day to engage families in the community was held. Over
350 families were contacted.
MAPLEWOOD, ROCHESTER, NEW YORK: Eight
months after the Town Meeting, a "Discover Your Community"
evening was posted by Town Meeting participants and sponsors,
to create a broad citizen interest in the community.
COLONIE, ALBANY, NEW YORK: Seventy five
people came to the first followup meeting, proposing to
work on implementing the proposals.
EAST HANOVER, NEW JERSEY: The Town Meeting
participants have taken responsibility for distributing and implementing
their Town Meeting's proposals, and also for setting up Town Meetings
in neighboring communities.
BROCKTON, MASSACHUSETTS: J.J. Lyons,
City Clerk, reports that the Mayor and City Council are working
closely with the Town Meeting Steering Committee to implement
the proposals, from the People's Town Meeting.
LOWER EAST SIDE, NEW YORK CITY: Town Meeting participants work on a 13 week program of leadership training among existing groups in the Spanish speaking community.
SEAFORD, LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: Have
recently held their third Town Meeting. An interim group works
on proposals between Town Meetings
UNION CITY, PENNSYLVANIA: Mayor Frank
Habel announced the first tangible results of the Town Meeting
will be a cleanup day . "The people are banding together
on May 21st to clean up vacant lots, help others clear the junk
out of their back yards all of this coupled with a picnic
in the park and a street dance that evening."
MID WESTERN STATES
SHELBY, OHIO: The Town Meeting motivated
citizens to launch a fund raising campaign to build a longneeded
new community center. When pledges topped the $1.6 million needed
for construction. they held a parade to celebrate
YORKVILLE, ILLINOIS: Town Meeting participants
created a Human Resources Bank of people willing to help their
neighbors with many types of needs.
JACKSON, MICHIGAN: Town Meeting participants
form an ongoing Citizen's' Council to address the needs of the
community, and become a pilot group for the launching of the Lt.
Governor's Citizen Involvement Council.
BRILLION, WISCONSIN: After the Town
Meeting, High School students called everyone in town before the
election it was the highest voter turnout ever.
QUINCY, ILLINOIS: The City Government
responded directly to a Town Meeting proposal by putting police
officers back on the beat
PAPILLION, NEBRASKA: The new Community
Symbol created at the Town Meeting, was placed on the sign welcoming
people into town.
MT. AIRY, CINCINNATI, OHIO: One of the
proposals led to the formation of an Educational Commission joining
PTA's and public and parochial school administrations. Their first
proposal is to reinstate crossing guards, for which the Commission
has raised over S1,000 in case the City is unable to fund it.
DULUTH, WISCONSIN: Two hundred citizens
turned out for the first in a series of "Mobile" City
Council meetings. The idea arose from a Town Meeting proposal
calling for regular City Council meetings in neighborhood settings
four times a year.
EAST ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: The "Help
Save Your City" Campaign was organized as a result of the
Community Issues Forum Town Meeting.
WHITTIER, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Since
its first Town Meeting two years ago, this inner city community
has undergone a major shift in its image of itself. The Whittier
Community Organization, created out of a Town Meeting, sponsors
a yearly community festival, attended this year by 8,000 people.
'Whittier is a great place to be alive."
OMAHA, NEBRASKA: Rat and roach sources
were eliminated by combined citizen effort, and for the first
time, the city rat control agency could do an effective job.
MUNDELEIN, ILLINOIS: An elementary school
principal of this bedroom community near Chicago, has her social
studies staff use the town meeting format as a way to do real
community and social education.
PORTSMOUTH, OHIO: Portsmouth divided
the Town Meeting proposals among five Task Force Teams, made up
of the 200 participants at the Town Meeting.
FRIDELY, MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: Six
months after their first Town Meeting, Fridely held a three hour
Town Meeting to check on implementation of the proposals. Yearly
Town Meetings are being planned.
RALSTON, NEBRASKA: Several hundred people
met in each of four local workshops following the Town Meeting
to write two bond issues for the Community Center and the Fire
MADISON HEIGHTS, MICHIGAN: Two proposed
projects, a model neighborhood council and a community cleanup
day were planned and implemented.
WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: Inspired by the creation of a Town Meeting symbol, a county flag contest was held. Two thousand people at the county fair cast their votes. The winning design was officially adopted by the county board as the County Flag, along with the Town Meeting song, which is now the official County song.
ASTABULA, OHIO: Since its first Town
Meeting, the town has built the new arts center and repaired the
bridges of the town as well as having a second Town Meeting.
MARATHON COUNTY, WISCONSIN: Eight townships
in the County accepted the Town Meeting challenge to be pacesetters
in increasing voter turnout by 10% in the National elections.
The results were impressive. Marathon County as a whole, had a
record 81% turnout for the election, as against a national turnout
PICO UNION, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA:
The first immunization clinic ever held in the district gave over
1,000 shots in a single day as a result of a Town Meeting proposal.
PAYSON, UTAH: Immediately implemented
was a proposal for a community economic course at the local High
School, taught by the town's businessmen.
THE MISSION DISTRICT, SAN FRANCISCO,
CALIFORNIA: A group of elders now run their own fresh fruit and
vegetable cooperative so that senior citizens can get fresh
produce at prices they can afford.
RENTON, WASHINGTON: The City Council and Mayor De Laurenti chartered the Town Meeting Followup Group as the Renton Horizons '76 Committee. This committee was charged to plan coordinate, and implement the proposals of
the people of Renton.
NAPA, CALIFORNIA:, A councilman, concerned
that Napa continue to expand citizen participation begun at Town
Meeting '76, proposed to the City Council the organization of
neighborhood advisory groups, to study issues and make recommendations
to the council.
NOB HILL, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA:
Town Meeting participants responded to Town Meeting proposals
and organized a Saturday "Survival Revival" and a community
newsletter to increase community awareness of the many services
and opportunities available to city residents.
GLENDIVE, MONTANA: The community decided
to hire a person to coordinate community organizations towards
functioning as one effort.
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Interested
participants from seven San Francisco Town Meetings got together
and sponsored twelve more, making a total of nineteen Town Meetings
held in the city of San Francisco
SPENARD, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA: The Steering
Committee is scheduling another Town Meeting and coordinating
community organizations to improve services.
EAST HELENA, MONTANA: A continuing citizens'
forum sponsored a "get acquainted with your candidate"
DOWNEY, CALIFORNIA: Town Meeting brings
forth new community leadership as twelve participants assist with
district meetings at which forty new people volunteer to work
on followup and plans for the 1977 city wide Town Meeting.
BUTTE, MONTANA: Town Meeting brought together labor, management, and business groups who decided to continue to work together to comprehensively plan Butte's economic future.
WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA: A senior citizens'
transit system resulted from a Town Meeting proposal.
WEST COVINA, CALIFORNIA: A monthly newspaper
created as a result of Town Meeting to answer the need for better
community communi-cations, has been so successful that plans are
underway to publish it weekly.
ADA, OKLAHOMA: People had been talking
about the health care needs of their large Indian population for
years. After their Town Meeting, they were able to mobilize their
Town's resources, secure government funding, and will start building
a twelve million dollar Indian hospital designed by an Indian
architect, this year.
TROUP, TEXAS: Citizens are planning
a new community center and are discussing which city parcel of
land would be best to put it on.
DE PEW, OKLAHOMA: A burial service was
held for George of "Let George do it" fame . "He
died from exhaustion and it's now up to us", was the theme
of the funeral, which was followed by a citizens' clean up the
SUMTER COUNTY, GEORGIA: The Town Meeting
sparked citizen interest in a county wide clean up campaign in
the historical society's restoration of a landmark hotel, and
in establishing a countywide advisory group to plan for
the future of the county,
LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA: A communitywide
Town Meeting catalyzed seven neighborhood Town Meetings with 500
OLD FORT, NORTH CAROLINA: A citizens'
committee, cooperating with the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen,
implemented a three part proposal to deal with a serious, school
LAWTON, OKLAHOMA: The Chamber of Commerce
created a Permanent Committee of the
Chamber composed of Town Meeting participants, to make sure the
proposals of the day were implemented.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A leadership Town
Meeting group subsequently produced a Declaration of Interdependence
for the metropolitan community.
SHAMROCK, OKLAHOMA: Citizens planted
flowers in the park. Work has begun on the school, park and sewer
MINEOLA, TEXAS: "We have a larger
number of candidates running for City Council, and people attribute
it to Town Meeting."
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA: A Town Meeting held
for the High School youth was so enthusiastically received that
a similar Town Meeting is being planned for the whole community.
ST. BERNARD PARISH, LOUISIANA: A Community
Citizens' League was formed to develop better government in their
community, and solicit improved voter participation.
TONKAWA, OKLAHOMA: The Community Town Meeting decides that the Tonkawa youth should have a Town Meeting.