By Ian Perrotta
Last Sunday’s (Feb. 21) civic engagement meeting may have been sparsely attended, but that didn’t prevent it from engaging its participants.
The purpose of the meeting was to brainstorm ways to get the community to become civically involved. Organized by Alex Maysura, a Masters of Social Work Intern from Wayne State University, the session focused on facilitating action rather than just discussion.
“The fate of a community does not rest entirely in the hands of city governors, businessmen and property owners,” said Maysura. “Hamtramck’s destiny depends on what its residents do or don’t do.”
The meeting began with a brief presentation by Maysura that gave an overview of the current economic situation and state of the city. In the speech, he highlighted several questions that community members could ask themselves to gauge the desirability of the city. After, participants were asked to write down ideas relevant to various types of civic engagement.
Among the many ideas talked about, the most important issue appeared to be the city’s parks – or lack thereof. Several participants voiced their frustrations regarding the stalled efforts at Veterans Park, and there was a discussion of having a community meeting on the issue.
When the meeting was over, participants were asked to complete an exit survey ranking the importance of eight community aspects. The results were: 1. Education; 2. Public Safety; 3. Sanitation (Keep the City Clean and Green); 4. Communication; 5. Volunteerism; 6. Community Health; 7. Political Involvement; 8. Block Clubs/Sports/Organizations.