Guidelines for Creating a Neighborhood Association
The following guidelines are intended to introduce you to the city of Santa Ana prerequisites for recognizing neighborhood associations. We believe that you will find this information helpful in organizing a neighborhood association in your area.
An organized neighborhood association can influence positive changes throughout your neighborhood by creating a sense of community pride among neighbors and by establishing a recognized political voice within City Hall. By focusing neighborhood efforts on specific issues, visual changes become apparent. Your neighborhood will also have a better understanding of how the Santa Ana city government functions.
We request new associations to consider the following:
Decide Your Boundaries
We suggest major arterials, flood control channels, freeways, etc. We also recommend limiting the number of households within your boundaries to 1,000.
Recruit at Least 25 People for Support
This can be accomplished by going door to door and acquiring names and phone numbers of people interested in participating in the association. When scheduling a meeting, you can notify concerned neighbors by email or phone.
Write Down Your Issues
Sometimes residents come together because of a neighborhood concern or changes that are affecting their homes. In order to provide you with relevant resources, it would help to know the reasons you and your neighbors want to form an association. At your first meeting we may want to schedule speakers that would be able to respond to your neighborhood issues. Occasionally, associations will form to discuss one specific issue; the association may become inactive once the issue is resolved. It will be necessary for the association to determine its own focus for the future.
Establish a Leader/Steering Committee
A successful neighborhood association requires leadership and a personal commitment of a core group of residents. The amount of commitment varies on the issue and to what extent the association wishes to grow. Writing letters, making phone calls, distributing flyers or information, and organizing meetings are just a few basic fundamentals in developing a successful neighborhood association.
Recruit a Communication Linkage Representative
An additional commitment from your association is needed by sending a representative to a monthly meeting of the Communication Linkages Committee. This organization is composed of representatives from all the city’s neighborhood associations. Their function is to improve and facilitate communication between neighborhoods, the City and its residents as a whole. Your representative is an important link for your neighborhood, as he/she will speak on behalf of the neighborhood, comment on proposed ordinances and influence City priorities.
The role that we will expect from your association is cooperation and teamwork. You will need to identify goals and objectives and encourage other residents to become involved. With the information that is provided to you, you will be able to formulate plans to implement appropriate changes. Your association will become knowledgeable about the city government, its agencies, and the resources necessary to maintain a quality neighborhood.
Neighborhood Initiatives and Environmental Services Support
The role of our Neighborhood Initiatives and Environmental Services office is to be the liaison between your neighborhood and the City (or any other entity that relates to the reasons you are forming). We will provide you with general information from various city departments and speakers, as requested. We will assume the role of “staff support” on neighborhood projects, attend your meetings, and provide you with some clerical assistance, such as, flyers and printing to announce your meetings.