Neighborhood Association leaders and others in Tampa now have a chance to build leadership skills and learn more about city government.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn recently launched a Neighborhood University program with the goal of encouraging civic association leaders while creating ambassadors for the City.
"It’s a great way for people to learn more about what’s going on in the City of Tampa and feel more a part of what’s happening," says Jake Slater, neighborhood empowerment administrator for the City of Tampa
. "Most people only know what they see on the news and read in the paper. Now they will see the folks behind the scenes making it happen."
The city has more than 90 neighborhood associations tasked with maintaining or improving the quality of life and sense of community. Activities include historic preservation, crime watch and maintaining open lines of communication with city government.
The 12-session class kicks off September 10 and includes behind the scenes information about budgeting, Tampa Police and Fire Rescue and utilities as well as information about using social media. Participants will learn skills to help establish and maintain overall successful neighborhood organizations, as well as experience the inner workings of the City of Tampa administration.
The 65 participants selected from more than 150 applicants come from a variety of backgrounds, ages and occupations from attorneys to retired military to pastors.
"Tampa is moving very quickly," says Slater. "There’s a new energy, lots of things going on in downtown, Sulfur Springs, South Tampa," citing this as possible reasons for the high interest in the new program. "You go to downtown Tampa on the weekends, and it’s alive! It’s hard to find a place to park."
Next steps include finetuning the program with input from members as well as sharing it with other cities, who are already asking for more information.
Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Jake Slater, City of Tampa