City neighborhoods event reintroduced

City neighborhoods event reintroduced
The Fight Blight team from the City of Jacksonville Neighborhoods Department was one of many exhibits at the 2018 Neighborhood & Community Summit. (Photo courtesy of City of Jacksonville)

It was billed as the first Neighborhood and Community Summit, but perhaps the April 21 City-sponsored event should have been more accurately publicized as “the first in more than two decades.”

The original Neighborhood Summit, held Sept. 20, 1996 during Mayor John Delaney’s administration, was held to advance the efforts of the Community Advisory Planning Councils (CPACs) formed under his predecessor, Mayor Ed Austin.

Notwithstanding the oversight, the 2018 Neighborhood & Community Summit did bring community together on a rainy Saturday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, where the event was kicked off by former Jacksonville Jaguar Donovin Darius.

In addition to displays from Jacksonville Fire & Rescue equipment to driverless electric vehicles and more, participants attended breakout sessions about crime prevention and public safety, code enforcement and keeping neighborhoods clean.

Awards were given as well. On behalf of the Murray Hill Preservation Association, Jason Tetlak accepted the Great Big Neighborhood Award (for neighborhoods with 201 homes or more) as Outstanding Neighborhood of the Year, while The Arc Jacksonville Village received the Great Little Neighborhood Award (for neighborhoods with less than 200 homes).

Other awards included the Lifetime Community Service Award (Ann Burt); the Community Catalyst Award (Suzanne Pickett); the Perfect Partnership Award (Thomas Martin, Jesse Skinner, Moses Harrison of the Watermill Master Association); the Neighbors Get Moving Award (Historic Springfield District), and the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Award (Sandra Enochs).

Two individuals received the mayor’s inaugural Champions (Community Heroes & Advocates Making Positive Impacts on Neighborhoods) awards. Tracy Grant, president of the Eureka Gardens Tenant Association, who took the fight for Eureka Gardens to Washington, D.C., was honored, along with JSO Assistant Chief Deloris Patterson, who was recognized for her exceptional commitment to neighborhoods through more than 20 years of service by developing meaningful relationships with community members through volunteerism, mentorship, advocacy and more.

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